Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
CNN TV
EDITIONS

Andrea Koppel: Administration works to bring home crew

Koppel
Andrea Koppel  

April 3, 2001
Web posted at: 9:13 p.m. EDT (0113 GMT)

Andrea Koppel is a CNN State Department correspondent. She has been covering the developments as US officials attempt to gain the release of the 24 crew members of the EP-3 electronic reconnaissance plane which landed on the island of Hainan after colliding with a Chinese F-8 military jet.

Q: How long is President Bush willing to be patient with the Chinese government as we negotiate for the release of the 24 American crewmembers?

Koppel: Senior State Department officials say that President Bush is growing impatience over Chinas continued detention of 24 American crew members should have been reflected in his remarks at the White House. In particular, officials point to the Presidents implication that the longer the standoff continues, the great the chance it will adversely the US-China relationship. President Bush said, This accident has the potential for undermining our hopes for a fruitful and productive relationship between our two countries. To keep that from happening, our service men and women need to come home. The president is getting impatient.

  MESSAGE BOARD
China: Spy plane accident
 
 IN-DEPTH
graphic U.S.-China Collision: A diplomatic solution
 • About freighter returning EP-3
 • Look: Inside the EP-3
 • Facts about the EP-3
 • Map: Locating the incident
 • Big picture: High stakes
 • Classroom discussion guide
 • Historical US-China timeline
 • Whidbey arrival images
 • Crew speaks out
 • Crew's return images


 
  TIMELINE
Key events in U.S.-China relations since 1950
 
  RESOURCE
Map of Collision

Facts about EP-3 Aries II
 
  ALSO
 

Q: Is the administration trying to balance firmness with restraint in this matter?

Koppel: The Bush administration is trying to be firm while taking great pains not to antagonize Chinas leaders. One official said there is a very clear effort to keep the presidents rhetoric from becoming part of the problem. We are still not a point where I either side would describe this incident has having long-term implications, however.

Other officials point to the fact that Chinas allowing two US diplomats to gain access to the 24 Americans is a step in the right direction. Through comments made by President Bush and Secretary of State Powell, as well as private meetings between senior US and Chinese officials, the Bush administration is trying to resolve this incident diplomatically.

Q: What diplomatic overtures have been made so far?

Koppel: On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage called in Chinas ambassador to Washington for the second time this week to reinforce the presidents message, in the words of another State Department official. This is intensive diplomacy, he said.

Secretary of State Powell, for one, would not speculate on what the administration might do in the future if the diplomatic route does not work. Officials say the administration is purposely trying not to point fingers of blame, and is trying not to get into a public debate with China because, in the words of one official, that is not productive.

Q: How concerned are officials that the Chinese will dismantle the plane?

Koppel: Certainly that is a concern, but over and over again I am hearing from officials here at the State Department that the primary goal -- what they are all working toward -- is the safe release of the 24 Americans. While administration officials dont want the Chinese to keep the plane and certainly dont want the Chinese to be taking anything off the plane, they are focusing their energy on the release of the Americans because they believe that is more important.



RELATED STORIES:
China declines U.S. search offer
April 3, 2001
Plane crew safe, China assures U.S.
April 1, 2001
U.S. Navy study 'backs Taiwan arms upgrade'
April 1, 2001
Beijing looks to get tough
April 2, 2001
Chinese jets intercept U.S. Navy plane
April 1, 2001
U.S.-based scholar a spy, says China
March 28, 2001
Taiwan critical to Bush's China policy
March 23, 2001
China, U.S. come in from the cold
March 15, 2001
Jiang blames U.S. for crash
April 3, 2001

RELATED SITES:
USCINCPAC Homepage
The Pentagon
U.S. Navy
Navy Fact File: EP-3E ORION (ARIES II) Aircraft
U.S. Department of Defense
Government of China (in Chinese)
U.S. Department of State
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the U.S.A.
Government Information Office, Republic of China

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



 Search   




MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 













Back to the top