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China: 'Impossible' to Fly Navy Plane Home

Tuesday, 08 May 2001 12:00 AM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi issued the statement in response to questions from journalists regarding remarks last week by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he hoped the aircraft could fly back to the United States after repairs.

"The Chinese side has several times stated clearly in relevant Sino-U.S. negotiations that it is impossible for the U.S. EP-3 plane to fly back to United States from Hainan Island," Sun said.

"The U.S. side should take a pragmatic and constructive attitude so that the issue on handling the U.S. plane could be properly settled," the spokesman added.

The plane has been held by the Chinese on Hainan Island since it was forced to make an emergency landing there after being hit by a Chinese jet last month.

The statement comes one day after the Pentagon announced the resumption of surveillance flights in international airspace along China's coastline. China claims the flights are an infringement on its sovereignty and has repeatedly demanded an end to the sorties - even though it makes similar flights near other nations.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi issued the statement in response to questions from journalists regarding remarks last week by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he hoped the aircraft could fly back to the United States after repairs. The Chinese side...
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2001-00-08
Tuesday, 08 May 2001 12:00 AM
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