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U.S. Team Finishes Examination of Plane Detained by China

Aired May 4, 2001 - 08:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: We've got some breaking news out of the Pentagon, a development in the China spy plane controversy. Let's see if anything's been resolved.

Jamie McIntyre's got some fresh information there.

Hi -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, just about 4 1/2 hours ago, the U.S. assessment team that was on the ground there to try to figure out if the plane can be repaired completed its work.

Yesterday, Chinese officials would not provide power to the team so they could power up the plane's systems, but they did get that today. They've got several hours on the plane, and they now report that they've completed everything they need to do and are preparing to come back to the United States, to give their assessment.

But there's still no word on whether the plane can be repaired and flown back, or whether it will have to be transported back -- perhaps cut up in pieces and transported back to the United States. The United States would prefer to fly the plane back if they could do that. China appears to prefer to see the plane cut in pieces and carted off that way -- Carol.

LIN: Jamie, do you have a sense of whether this team was able to learn how much the Chinese were able to learn from this spy plane?

MCINTYRE: Their specific mission was not to make an assessment on that. These were civilians from Lockheed Martin, whose main job was just to figure out if the plane could be repaired. They may have gleaned some information that might be helpful to the United States in figuring that out, but that's not what they were there to do.

LIN: Thank you very much, Jamie, for letting us know that this developed today -- the U.S. team on its way back.

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