TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In light of the tragic helicopter accident that took the lives of several Taiwan's top military officials, including Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴), the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced Thursday (Jan. 2) that Deputy Chief of General Staff Liu Chih-pin (劉志斌) will temporarily fill in as the country's military commander.
On Thursday morning, an Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crash-landed in the mountains of New Taipei City's Wulai District, killing 8 of the 13 passengers aboard. The cause of the accident is still under investigation as military teams return to the wreckage of the aircraft to search for the black box.
In a press release issued by the MND, the military agency said that Liu will now serve as the acting chief of general staff to maintain Taiwan's national security. It added that Liu has previously served as the Navy chief of staff and aide-de-camp for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and is perfectly competent for the position, reported Yahoo News.
The MND said that an official candidate for the head of the Taiwanese armed forces will be decided by Tsai at a later date. It also expressed condolences to family members of the officials who perished in the accident and stressed that all military personnel will continue to fulfill their duties in protecting Taiwan, reported CNA.