Letter to Chinese
Following is the text
of a letter from U.S. Ambassador Joseph Prueher to Chinese
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan.
Dear Mr. Minister,
behalf of the United States Government, I now outline steps to resolve
Both President Bush and Secretary of State Powell have expressed their
sincere regret over your missing pilot and aircraft. Please convey to the
Chinese people and to the family of the pilot Wang Wei that we are very
sorry for their loss.
Although the full picture of what transpired is still unclear, according
to our information, our severely crippled aircraft made an emergency
landing after following international emergency procedures. We are very
sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal
clearance, but very pleased the crew landed safely. We appreciate China's
efforts to see to the well-being of our crew.
In view of the tragic incident and based on my discussions with your
representative, we have agreed to the following actions:
Both sides agree to hold a meeting to discuss the incident. My government
understands and expects that our aircrew will be permitted to depart China
as soon as possible.
The meeting would start April 18, 2001.
The meeting agenda would include discussion of the cause of the incident,
possible recommendations whereby such collisions could be avoided in the
future, development of a plan for prompt return of the EP-3 aircraft, and
other related issues. We acknowledge your government's intention to raise
U.S. reconnaissance missions near China in the meeting.