China denies Pakistan gave it access to U.S. chopper

China has rejected media reports that Pakistan gave it access to a radar-evading helicopter that crashed during the U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden, calling them “preposterous.”

BEIJING — China has rejected media reports that Pakistan gave it access to a radar-evading helicopter that crashed during the U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden, calling them “preposterous.”

The international business newspaper Financial Times reported Sunday that Pakistan allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph and take samples of the stealth chopper before giving it back to the U.S.

In its first public response, China’s Defence Ministry said in a one-line statement late Tuesday, “This report is baseless and preposterous.”

The U.S. suspects that Pakistan shared the technology with China in retaliation for its May 2 raid that killed bin Laden on Pakistani soil, humiliating Islamabad.

A Pakistani official has denied the charge, saying Pakistan was aware the U.S. had bin Laden’s compound and the helicopter wreckage under round-the-clock surveillance after the raid, so it would know whether foreign technical experts had examined it.

The helicopter was one of two modified Black Hawks that defence experts said evidently used radar-evading technology plus noise and heat suppression devices to slip across the Afghan-Pakistan border, avoid detection by Pakistani air defences and deliver two dozen Navy SEALs into the hiding place of the al-Qaida leader.

One of the choppers crash-landed during the mission. Before leaving with bin Laden’s corpse, commandos blew up the main body of the chopper, apparently to keep its stealth components secret.

Photos of the wreckage with the tail still visible flashed around the world, drawing immediate chatter among defence experts who noticed it appeared to have previously undisclosed technology.

The relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan took a nose dive after the bin Laden raid, which prompted celebrations in the U.S. but anger and embarrassment in Islamabad. Ties were already strained despite billions of dollars in American aid over the last decade because of Pakistan’s reluctance to target Taliban militants on its territory who stage cross-border attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan.

In contrast to the fickle Washington relations, Pakistan calls its relationship with China an “all-weather friendship.” China provides Pakistan with aid and investment, while Pakistan offers Beijing diplomatic backing, including among Islamic nations who might otherwise criticize China’s handling of its Muslim Uighur (pronounced WEE’-gur) minority.

The two also both distrust India. China fought India in a brief but bloody 1962 border war, and Pakistan has fought its neighbour three times since 1947.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ice shifted to the shoreline at Sylvan Lake on April 21. (Photo contributed by Andrea Swainson)
Icy shores of Sylvan Lake

A local photographer has captured how the ice has shifted to the… Continue reading

A Loblaws store is seen Monday, March 9, 2015 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
In absence of mandated paid sick days, some companies are stepping up

Only 42 per cent of working Canadians say they have access to paid sick leave

President Joe Biden waves after holding a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Washington. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci
New emission-cutting goals called ‘aggressive,’ ‘ambitious’ and ‘illogical’

Canadian industry is being compelled to cut methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Brooke Henderson, of Canada, watches her tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Canadian Brooke Henderson vaults into tie for fourth at LPGA Tour event

Henderson is sixth in the world women’s golf rankings

Switzerland’s skip Silvana Tirinzoni makes a call during a women’s curling match against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Natacha Pisarenko
Previously unbeaten women’s teams suffer setbacks at Grand Slam curling event

Top six women’s and men’s teams qualify for the playoffs.

FILE - Gal Gadot arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gadot is using her Hollywood star power to spotlight remarkable women from around the world. The “Wonder Woman” actor is host and executive producer of a new documentary series “National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot,” premiering Monday, April 26. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Gal Gadot spotlights women’s stories in new docuseries

First episode follows a young Black figure skating coach in Detroit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino listens to speakers during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Retaking language test unfair during COVID-19: applicants to new residency pathway

New program aims to grant 90,000 essential workers and international graduates permanent status

LtE bug
Letter: Questions around city funding for Westerner

The Advocate article on April 21 on page 3 “Council to discuss… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Foligno (71) and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate Marner's goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Taylor Pendrith from Richmond Hill, Ont. salutes the crowd after sinking a birdie on the 18th hole to come in at five under par during first round of play at the Canadian Open golf championship Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Most Read