Chinese President: USA must "bear full responsibility" for the collision on Sunday

China has rejected US warnings to stay away from its grounded spy plane, saying officials have the right to inspect it. The hardening of Beijing's stance over the plane came after Chinese President Jiang Zemin said the United States must "bear full responsibility" for the collision on Sunday between a Chinese fighter jet and the spy plane. American diplomats are anxiously awaiting access to the 24 stranded crew of the US Navy surveillance plane which made an emergency landing on China's southern island of Hainan following the clash. China has accused the US plane of ramming its aircraft, but the US says it was probably an accident caused by the Chinese plane. According to US officials, the last message from the crew said Chinese soldiers were boarding the EP-3 plane, which is packed with sensitive monitoring equipment. US President George W Bush has called on China to release the plane "without further tampering". But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Tuesday: "Based on Chinese law, and international practice, we have the right to conduct an investigation." Mocking the American claim that the plane is protected by international law from outside inspection without US permission, Mr Zhu smiled and said: "If this plane is sovereign American territory, how did it land in China?" Defence analyst Paul Beaver of the Jane's Information Group said it would be catastrophic for the US "if the Chinese have managed to gain access to the aircraft and if they've managed to obtain access to the computers and the hard disks". China has offered to let American officials meet the crew on Tuesday night local time, but Washington says that is not soon enough, ВВС reports. Mr Bush said he was "troubled by the lack of a timely Chinese response" to US requests for access.

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team