2 Malaysian Navy Helicopters Collide, 10 Killed

In this photo released by Fire & Rescue Department of Malaysia, fire and rescue department inspect the crash site of two helicopter in Lumur, Perak state, Monday, April 23, 2024. (Terence Tan/Ministry of Communications and Information via AP)
In this photo released by Fire & Rescue Department of Malaysia, fire and rescue department inspect the crash site of two helicopter in Lumur, Perak state, Monday, April 23, 2024. (Terence Tan/Ministry of Communications and Information via AP)
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2 Malaysian Navy Helicopters Collide, 10 Killed

In this photo released by Fire & Rescue Department of Malaysia, fire and rescue department inspect the crash site of two helicopter in Lumur, Perak state, Monday, April 23, 2024. (Terence Tan/Ministry of Communications and Information via AP)
In this photo released by Fire & Rescue Department of Malaysia, fire and rescue department inspect the crash site of two helicopter in Lumur, Perak state, Monday, April 23, 2024. (Terence Tan/Ministry of Communications and Information via AP)

Two Malaysian navy helicopters collided in mid-air and crashed during a rehearsal for a naval parade on Tuesday, killing all 10 crew members aboard, the navy said.
The incident occurred at the Lumut naval base in the western state of Perak at 9.32 a.m. on Tuesday morning (0132 GMT), the navy said.
"All victims were confirmed dead at the scene and sent to the Lumut naval base military hospital for identification," the navy said.
A video circulating on local media showed several helicopters flying in formation, when one of the choppers' rotor clipped another before both aircraft crashed into the ground. Local police confirmed the footage was genuine.
The navy said it would carry out an investigation into the cause of the accident.

Seven crew members were aboard the AW139 maritime operation helicopter, the navy said. That aircraft is produced by AgustaWestland, which is a subsidiary of the Italian defense contractor Leonardo. Three other crew members were on a Fennec lightweight helicopter, manufactured by European multinational defense conglomerate Airbus.

Defense Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the aircraft were rehearsing for a parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Navy, due to be held on Saturday.
Efforts were underway to verify the identities of the crew members killed, all of whom were below the age of 40, Mohamed Khaled told reporters.



Taiwan Says China Drills More about Intimidation, Propaganda than Starting War

A man stands on a jetty behind a tourist boat and Chinese flags on Pingtan island, opposite Taiwan in China’s southeast Fujian province on Sunday. (AFP)
A man stands on a jetty behind a tourist boat and Chinese flags on Pingtan island, opposite Taiwan in China’s southeast Fujian province on Sunday. (AFP)
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Taiwan Says China Drills More about Intimidation, Propaganda than Starting War

A man stands on a jetty behind a tourist boat and Chinese flags on Pingtan island, opposite Taiwan in China’s southeast Fujian province on Sunday. (AFP)
A man stands on a jetty behind a tourist boat and Chinese flags on Pingtan island, opposite Taiwan in China’s southeast Fujian province on Sunday. (AFP)

China's military drills last week were more about propaganda and intimidation than starting a war, but Chinese forces did show how they could react quickly, Taiwan's top security official said on Wednesday.
China said it carried out the two days of war games starting Thursday as "punishment" for new President Lai Ching-te's inauguration speech last week, in which he said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were "not subordinate to each other", which China viewed as a declaration the two are separate countries, Reuters said.
China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. Lai rejects China's sovereignty claims, saying only Taiwan's people can decide their future, and has repeatedly offered talks with Beijing but been rebuffed.
Speaking to reporters at parliament, Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen said the aim of China's drills was not to go to war.
"The purpose of the military exercises was to intimidate," he said.
The drills were meant to show an external and domestic audience that Beijing "has absolute control over the situation in the Taiwan Strait", Tsai added.
Speaking in Beijing, Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, reiterated its list of complaints about Lai being a dangerous supporter of Taiwan's formal independence, and threatened continued Chinese military activity.
The drills were a "just action to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity", she said.
"As Taiwan's provocations for independence continue, the People's Liberation Army's actions to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity continue."
The government in Taipei says Taiwan is already an independent country, the Republic of China. The Republican government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists who set up the People's Republic of China.
China says any decisions on Taiwan's future are for all of China's 1.4 billion people to make, not only Taiwan's 23 million, and has offered a Hong Kong-style "one country, two systems" autonomy model, though that has almost no public support on the island, according to opinion polls.
"Different systems are not an obstacle to reunification, let alone an excuse for separation," Zhu said.
China has never explained how it would integrate Taiwan's vibrant democracy and direct election of its leaders into any plan to govern the island.
China has in the past four years sent its military to areas around Taiwan on an almost daily basis, as it seeks to exert pressure on the island.
But China also appeared to be trying to keep the scope of these drills contained, Tsai's bureau said in a written report to lawmakers, noting there was no declaration of no-fly or no-sail zones and the exercises lasted only two days.
"The intention was to avoid the situation escalating and international intervention, but in the future it is feared (China) will continue its compound coercion against us, gradually changing the Taiwan Strait's status quo," it said.
Tsai added that Chinese forces mobilized almost as soon as China announced the drills early on Thursday.
"The speed was extremely fast, demonstrating rapid mobilization capabilities," he said.