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World - Asia/Pacific

Chinese in Belgrade, Beijing protest NATO embassy bombing

Man crying
A father is distraught at the discovery of a bloodied bedspread in the room where his daughter died
CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon reports on anti-NATO demonstrations throughout China (May 9)
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The extent of the damage to China's embassy in Belgrade is evident in daylight Saturday, as CNN's Alessio Vinci reports (May 8)
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CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon reports on clashes outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing (May 8)
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NATO bombing continues; U.S. blames bad maps for embassy strike

Refugee flow into Macedonia slows; Albania may take 1 million

View images of the anti-NATO protests around China

May 9, 1999
Web posted at: 9:44 p.m. EDT (0144 GMT)

In this story:

Clinton, NATO give apologies, explanations

U.S. ambassador holed up in Beijing embassy


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Chinese citizens and government officials Sunday intensified protests over a NATO bombing that claimed three lives at China's embassy in Belgrade, despite apologies from the alliance which called the attack an accident.

The father of one victim broke down as he held the bloodstained bed covers inside the room where his daughter and son-in-law died. The couple were both journalists and had moved from an apartment to the embassy because they thought it would be safer.

Hundreds of Chinese gathered for a second day of protests at the Chinese Embassy, where bouquets of flowers poked through the bars, resting on a sign with Chinese characters, a memorial for the victims.

A 34-member Chinese delegation, including Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Guozhang, inspected the heavily damaged compound on Sunday. Wang denounced the attack and called for an end to the entire NATO bombing campaign.

Besides investigating the incident, the Chinese delegation is arranging to take the dead and wounded back to China.

Twenty people were hurt in the Saturday morning attack. Six were injured seriously and remain in intensive care at a Belgrade hospital.

Clinton, NATO give apologies, explanations

U.S. President Bill Clinton sent a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin on Sunday expressing regret over the bombing, which he called an unfortunate accident, White House officials said.

blown up embassy
The bombed Chinese Embassy in Belgrade  

Defense Secretary William Cohen and CIA Director George Tenet in a joint statement had called the attack the result of "faulty information."

NATO believed the building housed a Yugoslav military facility, not the Chinese Embassy, officials said.

"Those involved in targeting mistakenly believed that the Federal Directorate of Supply and Procurement was at the location that was hit," the statement said.

On Sunday, however, protesters intensified their demonstrations against numerous U.S. embassies and consulates in China, adamantly rejecting apologies offered by U.S. and NATO officials for the bombing.

"Apology is not enough," one man shouted. "Clinton must be tried for war crimes."

Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao, lending support to the protesters, condemned the bombing and said all legal demonstrations will be allowed to continue.

The protests, Hu said, "fully reflect the Chinese people's great fury at the atrocity of the embassy attacks by NATO and the Chinese people's strong patriotism."

But demonstrators must obey the law and take China's interests into account, he said.

U.S. ambassador holed up in Beijing embassy

journalist sign
Chinese protesters in front of the U.S. Embassy hold up a poster of a journalist killed  

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Beijing on Sunday near the U.S. Embassy, many students bused in for a second day of protests. Police cordoned off the site after protesters pummeled it with bricks and rocks.

U.S. Ambassador to China Jim Sasser, inside the embassy, said the Chinese government had guaranteed his and his staff's safety.

"The problem ... is that this whole thing could spin out of control," Sasser told CBS's "Face The Nation" by telephone. "We're just hoping that the police can continue to control them."

Sasser reported extensive damage to the embassy, including his personal residence. He said he has been confined to the embassy for 48 hours, separated from his family.

"We are essentially hostages," he said.

Several journalists, including CNN's Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon, were assailed by protesters.

candle lit memorial
An impromptu memorial for those that died in the blast near the British embassy in Beijing  

Protesters threw stones at the British embassy. Nearby, people visited a candle-lit shrine for the victims.

Also under siege was the Albanian embassy, where diplomats said they had been trapped for more than a day with little help from Chinese police.

Tens of thousands of Chinese have taken to the streets of provincial capitals across China, marching on the embassies of NATO countries, particularly U.S. facilities.

In the southern city of Chengdu, protesters set ablaze the U.S. consul's residence. The residence was badly damaged, but no one was hurt. Police dispersed the protesters with tear gas.

The U.S. State Department announced that the embassy in Beijing and consulates in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shengyang and Chengdu will be closed at least until Tuesday.

Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon and Correspondents Brent Sadler, Chris Black and Andrea Koppel contributed to this report.

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Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

  • Democratic Union of Slovakia
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from

  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • The IOM Migration Web
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Carl Bildt in English
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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