BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
US rejects China's $1m plane bill
Fuselage of the US Navy spy plane being loaded onto a Russian cargo plane for its return to the US
A giant Russian cargo plane brought the pieces back
The United States is refusing to pay China a bill of $1m to cover expenses incurred while a US spy plane was on Chinese soil.

A State Department official said the US Government had no intention of paying the bill, which covers costs over a period of three months.


It's nice to know they have a sense of humour

US official
The 1 April collision with a Chinese fighter jet and the subsequent detention of the EP-3 plane and its crew on Hainan island in southern China triggered a tense stand-off between the US and China.

The $80m plane was dismantled and flown back to the US this week.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the US official said China's expenses claim was "exaggerated".

"It's nice to know they have a sense of humour," he said.

Diplomatic row

His comment came a day after Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, said the administration was prepared to reimburse China for reasonable costs.

The spokesman at the Chinese Embassy was unavailable for comment on the rejection of the bill.

Two members of the 12-member Lockheed engineering team
Lockheed Martin engineers dismantled the spy plane
The spy plane incident caused a row between the US and China shortly after US President George W Bush came to office.

The impasse ended only after Washington said it was "very sorry" that the pilot of the Chinese jet had died and that the US Navy plane had landed without permission.

Passions cooled after the crew of 24 was released, but China refused to allow the plane to be flown off Hainan island, though engineers said the plane could be repaired.

The dismantled parts of the plane are now at Dobbins Air Force Base in the southern US state of Georgia. They were flown there by a chartered Russian Antonov-124 cargo plane.

The Naval Air Systems Command has estimated structural repairs to the aircraft will take eight to 12 months. After that, the plane will be flown to Waco, Texas, for an electronic systems upgrade.

US security personnel will also examine the plane, which was loaded with surveillance equipment, to assess what data the Chinese may have obtained.

US officials have said the crew destroyed much of the plane's surveillance equipment and erased sensitive data soon after landing. But the Pentagon has acknowledged that some secrets were lost.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit China later this month ahead of a visit by President Bush in October.


Key stories:

Analysis

Spy plane row

AUDIO VIDEO

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

TALKING POINT
See also:

06 Jul 01 | Americas
03 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
14 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
07 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
03 May 01 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes