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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

China wants ‘apology,’ not ‘regret’

Beijing to allow second meeting today between crew, diplomats

April 6, 2001

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— U.S. diplomats were told today they would get a second meeting with the crew of an American spy plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet. But China's president remained adamant that the United States apologize.

The meeting with the 24 crew members was planned this afternoon, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said.

China has held the plane's crew since it made an emergency landing on Hainan island in the South China Sea after Sunday's collision. Despite repeated U.S. requests, China has so far allowed only one meeting between the crew and U.S. officials.

Thursday in Chile, Chinese President Jiang Zemin again called for the United States to apologize.

"I have visited many countries and I see that when people have an accident, the two groups involved, the two parts always say excuse me," Jiang said after arriving in Santiago.

President Bush on Thursday expressed "regret" qualified language that has been used by other American officials but short of an apology for the incident.

Jiang also said both sides should try to seek a resolution.

He said Chinese officials were exasperated by continued U.S. sur-

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