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Chinese pilot's wife sends Bush emotional letter

Wang Wei
Wang Wei  

BEIJING,China (CNN) -- The wife of the missing Chinese pilot Wang Wei wrote U.S. President Bush on Friday, calling him "cowardly" for not apologizing for the midair collision of a U.S. reconnaissance plane with her husband's jet, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"What is incredible is you and your government's apathetic attitude toward my husband's life," wrote Ruan Guoqin.

"In this serious matter with irrefutable facts and the responsibility completely resting on the U.S. side, you are too cowardly to voice an apology and have been trying to shirk your responsibility repeatedly and defame my husband groundlessly. Can this be the human rights and humanism that you have been talking about every day?"

In the emotional letter filled with national pride and love for her husband, Ruan tells Bush how she has suffered since the April 1 accident and that she's now hospitalized because of her grief.

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    Wang is missing and presumed dead, although a search continues. The couple have a 6-year-old son.

    "I am an ordinary Chinese woman writing you this letter in tears on my sickbed," she said. "Wang Wei is everything in my life."

    She said her husband's jet was "rammed by a spy plane of your country" and "the news struck me like a bolt from the blue."

    "The cruel blow came all of a sudden, and it wrecked my body and mind, which resulted in my hospitalization," she said.

    Ruan said her parents-in-law keep calling her to ask about the fate of their only son and that her own child keeps asking about his father.

    "Our 6-year-old son has kept asking when his father will come home," she said. "My heart is aching, and I can tell them nothing. I pray and call out time and again hoping in tears that there will be a miracle."

    She mentions the 24 U.S. crew members now detained on the Chinese island of Hainan after safely making an emergency landing, saying, "Their family members and American people do not have to worry about them at all."

    She adds, "I cannot figure out why you sent them to spy along China's coast from such a great distance, and why they rammed my husband's plane."

    Ruan also said she has heard Bush "grew up in a family filled with love" and that he appreciates family values.

    "If this is true, I think you must understand what it means when an old couple loses their only son, when a tender child loses his dear father and when a young wife loses her husband," Ruan wrote. "I grieve for the loss of my beloved husband. I lament the loss of humanity in some people. Give me a reason! Bring back my husband!"

    She ends by saying, "Please accept my best wishes for your family."

    Chinese media Saturday began reporting Bush's expressions of regret that were made Thursday about the incident, although the tone in the media suggests an apology -- not regret -- is still needed. Chinese television did air U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's similar comments.

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    4:30pm ET, 4/16

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