After holding the crew for nearly two weeks, the Beijing government has announced it will release the 24 crew members of an American surveillance plane forced to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island after colliding with a Chinese jet fighter.
The press briefing will examine the episode and its aftermath, particularly the long-term impact on relations between the United States and China. Among the questions to be explored by the panelists are:
- What immediate steps will be taken to fully resolve this incident?
- How did President George W. Bush and his new administration handle its first foreign policy skirmish?
- Who “won” and who “lost” in this confrontation, or was it a “win-win” resolution?
- What are the longer-term implications for US-China relations, including the upcoming decision on American arms sales to Taiwan, the Chinese bid to host the 2008 Olympics, and renewal of normal US trade relations with China?
- What did the incident reveal about Beijing’s domestic politics and decision-making, particularly the role of the Chinese military?