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Bush, Jiang issue demands over spy flight

BEIJING -- U.S. President George W. Bush urged China Tuesday to promptly return the the American crew and plane that crash landed on Hainan Sunday. His counterpart President Jiang Zemin warned the U.S. to stop spy flights off China's coast.

Both leaders warned of harmed relations if the other side did not comply.

China has allowed U.S. officials to visit the crew of the Navy EP-3E electronic surveillance aircraft. All are reported in good condition, although reports indicate China may be dismantling the spy plane.

Unconfirmed U.S. media reports said that spy satellites had revealed that parts of the plane were being carried away from the aircraft.

The U.S. claims that the aircraft is a sovereign asset and that China has no right to board the plane. Chinese officials dismiss the claim though.

''Based on Chinese law and international practice, we have the right to conduct an investigation. If this plane is sovereign American territory, how did it land in China?'' Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said.

In a strong statement on Tuesday, Bush said that China had kept the crew and plane long enough.

"This accident has the potential of undermining our hopes for a fruitful and productive relationship between our two countries," Bush said. "To keep that from happening, our servicemen and women need to come home."

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Headlines

Central Asia

IMF under fire
in Kyrgyzstan
(Times of Central Asia)

Water games in
Central Asia
(Times of Central Asia)

East Asia

Presidential hopefuls jockey
for positions in
ruling party
(Korea Herald)

Ancient wall painting
stirs excitement
(www.asahi.com)

Pacific Islands

Yapese celebrate culture
with food, friends
(Pacific Daily News)

Jiang in Tahiti
talks
(Coconet Wireless)

South Asia

Masood seeks diplomatic
pressure against Pakistan
(Dawn)

30 die in stampede outside shrine in Pakistan
(Times of India)

Southeast Asia

Malaysia's high-tech zone
misses expectations: PM
(PDI)

Asian central banks
tighten efforts to
protect currency
(Strait Times)



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