Engineer of China's first aircraft carrier dies watching first flight
As China celebrated the first landing of a fighter jet on its new aircraft carrier at the weekend, it reserved a special hero's mention for a senior engineer on the programme who died of a heart attack after witnessing the historic event.
The death of Luo Yuan, 51, led the news on the state broadcaster CCTV, an unusually high-profile position for a scientist who was previously unknown outside the aviation business As head of Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, Mr Luo oversaw the development of the J-15 fighter-bomber, which is China's first self-designed carrier-based fighter jet and was built especially for the Liaoning, named after the province where it is based.
"Luo Yang was conducting a training mission on the aircraft carrier in north-east China's Dalian, when he suffered a sudden heart attack," CCTV reported. "Emergency surgery failed to bring him back to life." Getting the Liaoning operational is a major achievement for China. Beijing bought the carrier as a half-completed shell from Ukraine and towed it to China without engines, weaponry or navigation systems.
The high-profile coverage of Mr Luo's death and the whole carrier launch shows how important the project is to China: it is a great symbol of China's advance from poverty to becoming the world's second biggest economy, with real international diplomatic muscle. It also comes at a time when China is seeking to show its strength in the South China Sea. Beijing has many political rows ongoing with its neighbours in the region over the potentially oil- and gas-rich waters.
China lays claim to nearly the entire sea, a claim it says is backed up by historical records, but this has put it on a collision course with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, which each claims different areas of the sea.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...