China: April 3, 2001


The Chinese have decided to play hardball over the EP-3 incident and are making a big show of standing up to the arrogant Americans (this is for domestic consumption). This, in turn, is generating anger in the U.S., and this has generated calls for military action. Currently, the US Navy has substantial forces in the Eastern Pacific. This includes four carriers, a marine amphibious unit, three Aegis cruisers and two Aegis destroyers, and three nuclear attack subs (including one equipped to carry SEAL teams.) The Chinese continue to insist that the EP-3 was at fault, but have agreed to allow American diplomats to see the EP-3 crew later today. There is fear that China may be tempted to use the EP-3 crew as hostages to trade for recent Chinese officers who have defected to the United States.

Map of Incident between J-8 and EP-3


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