From Xinhua: "Chinese Fighter Bumped by U.S. Military Surveillance Plane "
BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhuanet)-- A U.S. military surveillance plane bumped into and damaged a Chinese military jet over the South China Sea Sunday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Sunday morning, a U.S. military surveillance plane approached China's airspace south-east of China's island province of Hainan, and two Chinese military jets scrambled to track it, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao.
At 9:07 a.m., 104 km south-east of Hainan Island, the U.S. plane suddenly turned towards the Chinese jets, resulting in its bumping into and damaging one of the two Chinese jets, said Zhu.
The Chinese side is very much concerned about the missing Chinese pilot from the crashed jet, and is busily searching for his whereabouts, Zhu said.
Without permission from the Chinese side, the U.S. surveillance plane intruded into China's airspace and made an emergency landing at Lingshui Airport in Hainan at 9:33 a.m., according to the spokesman.
It was normal and in accordance with international practice for Chinese military jets to track the U.S. surveillance plane over China's water areas, Zhu said.
The direct cause of the damage and crash of the Chinese jet was that the U.S. plane suddenly veered into the Chinese jet, which was against flight rule. Therefore, the U.S. side should bear all the responsibility arising therefrom, Zhu said.
The Chinese side has made solemn representations and protested to the U.S. side, and China reserves its right to further negotiate with the U.S.side on the losses resulted in the incident, he said.
China has so far made proper arrangements for all the 24 crew members on board the U.S. plane, Zhu said, adding that China also reserves the right to further negotiate with the U.S. side on the U.S. plane's intrusion into China's airspace and landing at the Chinese airport without permission, Zhu said. Enditem
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