THE CHINESE ARE WRONG -- THAT'S OUR PROBLEM | 2001-04-14
If the crew hadn't landed in China, I am willing to bet we STILL wouldn't know about this incident. It would have been too embarrassing for the Chinese.
I pointed out on February 17, 2001, in THE BRASS IS WIMPING OUT ON AMERICAN SERVICEMEN, that Soviet ships regularly swerved against American ships all through the Cold War, and the American ships were ordered to back off.
I have no information on air incidents, just as we had no information that air incidents of this kind that have been taking place near China for the past year.
The Chinese were well aware that American conservatives would never publicly object to their aggressiveness because business loves cheap Chinese labor. And liberals are loath to criticize a Loving Democratic People's Republic.
So the Chinese pilot did what had become routine: he was being a bully. His Mach 2 jet flew too close to an American surveillance (not spy) plane with a 460-mph maximum speed. That 460-mph is less than a third of Mach 2.
But this time he got caught at it. The Chinese pilot hot-dogged a plane that couldn't hit back and he got himself killed.
That is about as childish a death as one can imagine.
What's more, the bully got what he deserved and all the Americans survived. How much face can one lose at one time?