China: Russian jet arrives in China to retrieve U.S. spy plane
A huge Russian cargo plane on a mission to carry home a dismantled U.S. Navy spy plane arrived today on the Chinese island of Hainan.
The Antonov 124 landed at the Lingshui air base, where the EP-3E Aries II has been parked since making an emergency landing April 1 after a midair collision with a Chinese fighter jet.
The AN-124 landed at 11:17 a.m. Lingshui time under clear skies, the thunderous roar of its jets shattering the morning quiet.
The Russian plane arrived from Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
Plans call for the EP-3E to be dismantled and loaded in pieces on two Antonovs. The U.S. military has refused to say when the second cargo plane is to arrive.
Security at the Lingshui air base was tight. Police blocked the road leading to the base, and patrol cars drove up and down the main street that passes the site.
There was no sign of an American team of diplomats and technicians sent to this tropical island in the South China Sea to prepare for the retrieval of the EP-3E.