How it happened
(Chinese Real Video)
Wang Wei memorial site
U.S. intelligence about Wang Wei
Ruan Guoqin, Wang's wife
Ruan Guoqin Calls Bush "Cowardly"
Bush Sends Letter to Pilot's Wife
Lingshui military airfield
Lingshui intelligence base
Mario's China Page
U.S. Embassy in Beijing
Chinese Embassy in Washington
| Reconnaissance Flights and|
Policy developments and a Hainan Island incident, 1969-1970
(The National Security Archive)
| US spy plane nearly shot down: report|
13:21 AEDT Mon 9 Apr 2001
A Chinese fighter pilot requested permission to shoot down a US spy plane after seeing it collide with his comrade's jet, a Hong Kong newspaper said today.
Pilot Zhao Yu was refused permission and instead manoeuvred to force the American plane, which was attempting to fly away from China, to land at an airbase, the South China Morning Post quoted Chinese sources as saying.
The 24 crew members of the US crew and their EP-3 Aries surveillance plane have been detained in the southern province of Hainan for more than a week.
The sources also told the English language paper that when the American plane landed at the Lingshui airbase, a Chinese officer wrestled a US airman to the ground to gain access to the craft.
On Friday, Zhao told Chinese television he and fellow pilot Wang Wei had been tracking the spy plane closely in their fighter jets when the larger aircraft veered abruptly, smashing into Wang's plane. Wang parachuted from his stricken jet, but has been missing, presumed dead, since the collision eight days ago.
The Post's source said, however, that after the collision in international air space, Zhao radioed to military ground control for permission to shoot down the spy plane.
The source said this was refused.
"The officials at ground control were cool headed," one source told the paper.
"It would have been an act of war, whereas the collision was an accident."
The sources said after the collision the US plane attempted to fly northeast, away from China, but Zhao forced it to land in Hainan. When the American plane landed, its crew refused to allow the Chinese onto the craft without US diplomats present, the sources added.
"Then a senior officer arrived, walked up the stairs and wrestled a US crew member guarding the entrance," teh paper reported.
"The officer threw the airman to the ground, enabling the PLA (People's Liberation Army) to enter." (CAAP 2001)
| Spy plane 'forced to land'|
Monday, April 9, 2001
Fighter pilot asked to shoot down aircraft;
brawl broke out as PLA officer tried to board
STAFF REPORTER in BEIJING and AGENCIES
The US spy plane stranded on Hainan Island was forced to land by a Chinese fighter after requests to shoot it down were rejected by ground control, Chinese sources said yesterday.
Dramatic new details also emerged of how a senior PLA officer wrestled a US airman to the ground as the mainland military boarded the EP-3E Aries II plane following its collision with a Chinese jet eight days ago. Twenty-four American crew are being held as the Chinese navy searches for pilot Wang Wei, who parachuted from his F-8 fighter.
US President George W. Bush would write to Wang's wife as a "humanitarian gesture", Secretary of State Colin Powell said. She had previously written to Mr Bush, accusing him of being "too cowardly" to apologise.
The Chinese military is continuing to take a hard line on the collision, with Defence Minister Chi Haotian yesterday again blaming the US.
The developments came as Chinese sources gave a more detailed account of the collision than that given by Zhao Yu, the second Chinese pilot .
Zhao told state-run TV that he and Wang initially tracked the EP-3 at a distance of about 400 metres in their F-8 fighters. He said the US plane veered abruptly, the propeller on its left wing smashing into Wang's plane and causing it to plunge into the sea.
The sources said Zhao's account was incomplete. After seeing the loss of Wang's plane, Zhao radioed ground control for permission to shoot down the US plane, but this was refused, they said.
"The officials at ground control were cool-headed," one source said. "Zhao could have shot the plane down but that would have meant the death of 24 US airmen. It would have been an act of war, whereas the collision was an accident."
The sources said that after the collision, the spy plane attempted to fly to the northeast, away from China. However, Zhao manoeuvred to prevent this and forced the plane to land at Hainan's Lingshui base, where it was immediately surrounded by Chinese military.
After landing, the US crew refused to let the Chinese enter the plane, demanding that US diplomats be present. Initially, the Chinese made no attempt to force entry. Then a senior officer arrived, walked up the stairs and wrestled a US crew member guarding the entrance. The officer threw the airman to the ground, enabling the PLA to enter.
"The 24 crew members were given their own area in the base, with Chinese military staying at a distance," one source said. "Two of the crew [guarded] the entrance to this area."
The revelations came as China and the US continued intensive negotiations to resolve the diplomatic stand-off.
Yesterday, US Vice-President Dick Cheney reiterated that the US had no plans to apologise to China. "The President [George W. Bush] has made it clear we regret the loss of the Chinese pilot as a result of this accident.
The notion that we would apologise for being in international air space, for example, is not something we can accept," Mr Cheney said in a television interview.
Pressed on whether the US had anything to apologise for, he said: "No, I don't believe we do."
The US Secretary of State said the Sino-US relationship "is being damaged" by the dispute and the crew should be released immediately. Mr Powell told Fox News: "We've got to bring this matter to a close as soon as possible... [to] get our youngsters back and see if we can minimise the damage to our relationship."
Mr Powell said intense negotiations were continuing despite China's fresh demand that the US apologise for the collision. "We are in intense diplomatic negotiations... Things are moving along," Mr Powell said, though not as fast "as I would like".
US Ambassador Joseph Preuher last night said the negotiations had made progress after he again met Chinese officials. He declined to give details.
| US Spy Plane On Autopilot|
At Time Of Collision
The U.S. spy plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet earlier this month was flying on autopilot at the time, the Cable News Network reported Monday April 9, 2001.
U.S. officials won't say whether the autopilot instructions included a course correction, but CNN said the information indicated the U.S. plane was flying a straight and level course and would seem to support Washington's account of the accident.
The Chinese jet crashed after the collision and its pilot is believed dead. A second Chinese pilot has charged the U.S. plane suddenly swerved causing the collision.
According to CNN, Pentagon sources say it has been learned from the U.S. crew detained in China that the Chinese planes were engaged in some dangerous maneuvers prior to the collision.
CNN also reported that satellite photos show seven trucks parked near the U.S. surveillance plane, indicating to U.S. officials that the Chinese are taking sensitive gear off the aircraft.
| Ruan Guoqin:|
I Keep Fingers Crossed for Him
Ruan Guoqin, wife of the missing pilot Wang Wei,
talking to Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian about her missing husband's destiny.
Ruan Guoqin, wife of the missing pilot Wang Wei, has running nose ever since his husband disappeared after the mid-air collision of the fighter he drove bumped by a US spy plane. His plane crashed. She said that now she could do nothing but hope for the best. But, she knows the chance gets slimmer as each second ticks away. Ruan told reporters that since Sunday, the horror news broke out, the only thing she and their son, Wang Ding, could do is keeping their fingers crossed for their man.
The woman expressed her strong indignation over the act of the US spy plane causing the crash of the Chinese fighter jet and the missing of her husband. When she knew the indifferent attitude the US showed on her husband's missing, she said with wrath: "The life of Chinese people is as precious as the American's. US government only care about their pilots but did not say a word about my husband.
To me, my husband's life and safety are the most precious." "The America should take all responsibility to this matter and to my husband's missing." She also said.
Ruan showed great concern about safety of her husband. She closely watched the latest news about the result of the search and rescue work from any source she could find. She said anxiously: "Where are you, my dear husband? Our little son Wang Ding and I will wait for you at home until you come back safely."
Up to the small hours of April 4, Chinese navy had already sent a total of 48 planes and 29 vessels to search for Wang. However, the whereabouts of the pilot is still unknown.
Tel: (202) 328-2500
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China marks death of fighter pilot
Wang Wei memorial site (in Chinese)
| Collision Course:|
US - China crash in the skies
Inside U.S. Navy spy plane EP3-E
CNN Real Video News
Wang Wei intercepting U.S. plane
Wang Wei flying close to a U.S. plane
Video released by the U.S. Department of Defense
that sources say shows pilot Wang Wei harassing a U.S. plane
Interview with Chinese fighter pilot Zhao Yu (April 6 2001)
Jamie McIntyre reports (April 4 2001)
on what is known so far about how the accident happened.