China: U.S. spy plane collides with a Chinese fighter

An American EP-3 spy plane collided with a Chinese Air Force fighter in China's southern airspace Sunday morning, causing the Chinese aircraft to crash. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mr. Zhu Baozao is quoted as saying the incident happened at 9:07 Beijing time, some 104 kilometres south of the China's Hainan province. Mr. Zhu claimed that the spy plane entered the Chinese airspace and two F8 fighters attempted to intercept it. The American plane suddenly veered towards one of the fighters. Its nose and wing hit the fighter and caused it to crash. The American plane made an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield in Hainan. Its crew of 24 remain in Chinese hands, while the search continues for the missing Chinese fighter pilot. Both China and the United States lodged formal protests over the incident through diplomatic channels. The People's Republic of China said it will seek compensation and may charge the U.S. side over the intrusion into the Chinese airspace and landing without permission. The United States asked that the crew be well treated and that theaircraft be repaired and allowed to return. The American spokesman Col. John Bratton accused the missing Chinese pilot of attempting to 'bump the American plane'. According to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency, an EP-3 aircraft is a turbo propeller plane equipped with electronic intercept devices for detecting and tracking radars, radios and other devices.


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