Talk:Hainan Island incident/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Merge discussion at Talk:Letter of the two sorries.RJASE1 17:04, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. The article is short enough, and compliments the other article. I would go ahead and do it. // 3R1C 12:56, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, merge away. both are highly related and belong together. --MarsRover 08:17, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I concur, and seeing as this discussion is nearly one month old with no dissent, and the two articles contain identical content, I decided to be bold and have gone ahead and merged them. --Nothlit 06:04, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

collision theory

Supersonic fighters (such as the J-8) tend to be unstable at low speeds. Pilots of recon planes are allegedly known to slow down to make it more difficult for fighters to tail them.

This doesn't explain how the front of the EP-3 got damaged though.

I am just shocked to see how a propeller can chop a J-8 in half. How suck can a J-8 be?! TheAsianGURU 17:23, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
The skin of airplanes are generally made of a lightweight material. Propellers are not. Here is an example of an airplane propeller striking another airplane. I don't think this aircraft would fly very well after that impact and this picture shows what happened at IDLE speed of a lower performance aircraft. The prop of an EP-3 could easily chop into any fighter (American OR Chinese) and cause catastophic damage that could lead to the aircraft disintegrating or breaking apart. BQZip01 talk 17:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
As for the front of the plane, I have been involved in a car accident where pretty much the same thing happened. A semi-truck going faster than us struck us on the left near the rear of the vehicle causing us to spin to the left. The front of our vehicle was then hit by the front of the truck.
Had this happened in an airplane and the nose was struck (a nose designed to be removed for maintenance), it very easily could have sheared off the nosecone.
Note that a VERY similar accident happened to the XB-70 with similar consequences. BQZip01 talk 17:55, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

As to how the front of the EP-3 got damaged: sadly, the one man who saw it first hand was Wei's wingman, and it's unlikely the Chinese military will ever let him say in public exactly what he saw. swain 20:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Location of collision

If you have a citation about some unknown treaty that backs up the Chinese assertion that the EP-3 was in Chinese airspace, please show us. Otherwise, these pointless edits will continue to be reverted and/or the article protected from marauding anonymous IPs. BQZip01 talk 05:16, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Hi. "unknown treaty"??!! How about common sense?! If you look at the map of Hainan Island. 70 Miles in any direction would result in the South China Sea, which is Chinese airspace. Also, in the "Letter of 2 Sorries" it stated --- "...they also apologized for entering Chinese airspace and performing the emergency landing without authorization..." Notice: The letter stated --- not just performing the landing, but also entering the airspace. Reconnaissance is fine, but by saying it was in International airspace, we were just kidding ourselves. TheAsianGURU 05:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)TheAsianGURU
Sorry. In addition, some claimed that the EP-3 was in Chinese "Territorial Airspace" which can be considered "International Airspace" in some cases. Sure, but according to the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), its Article 56, 58 and 301. Military crafts are not allowed to by pass Territorial Airspace freely. The EP-3 was 100% a military aircraft, it even has a Navy Call-Sign. Therefore, its claim of being in "International Airspace" does not stand. Thank you for your time. TheAsianGURU 06:27, 7 August 2007 (UTC)TheAsianGURU

Quoting from Chinese board U.S. plane, take gear

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China had every right to examine the incident because the U.S. spy plane "rammed a Chinese plane in the air," then entered Chinese air space without permission and landed on a Chinese airport.

China has also accused the U.S. EP-3E plane of veering into one of two F-8 fighters in the interception mission 60 miles south of Hainan in international air space.

There is no dispute, not even by the Chinese government, that the incident occurred over international waters.

swain 18:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
"There is no dispute, not even by the Chinese government, that the incident occurred over international waters."
Sure, you got that from CNN & I have read that many times. Thank you.
Please visit the followings --- The Offical Chinese State Run TV Station CCTV. (All in Chinese) They paint a very different picture than CNN.
Of course there is dispute on the location. I do start to see your point and I will no longer change it to "Chinese airspace." However, this statment would not stand in China. I will have to edit it in the future with reflections on the Chinese side of view. (Along with the current article which I mostly agree also.)
Thank you for your time. TheAsianGURU 21:10, 7 August 2007 (UTC)TheAsianGURU
Please realize that the Chinese government (like many governments) is often two faced. They claim one things to the rest of the world and tell their people something else on their official publications/broadcasts. This is not publicized in the rest of the world because they don't want to tarnish their image (this is especially a problem in Asian countries where saving face is often more important than the truth). This is simply a cultural difference, not a fault.
AsianGURU, I would LOVE to have a discussion here with you to understand the Chinese point of view (both the official and popular POV) and would like to see what we can do to incorporate these views into the article.
As for, "this statment (sic) would not stand in China," please elaborate!!! :-) BQZip01 talk 04:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
As of the general pubic, the Chinese people believe, of course, the “Chinese version” of the story. Because EP-3 was a military aircraft, and it was clearly conducting reconnaissance on China, the general pubic was more concern of the national pride issue rather than Wei. This is the residue of --- NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade from 99. Also, according to the Chinese Media – The Chinese government asked for $1M USD to pay to Wei’s family and the Department of State was agreed to pay less than $35,000 USD, which created another storm. TheAsianGURU 21:53, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Please add that to the aftermath. The demand for payment and refusal to allow the aircraft to be flown out are both instances of the Chinese trying to save face (maximize their position) while demonizing the USA (the reverse is true of the US except we only fault the pilot, not blame him for everything). Considering the freedom of speech that the US enjoys, all of the Americans seem to support the American side of the story, even though they are free to say anything. The other pilot is either being forced not to say anything or chooses not to say anything. This is all about saving face for himself, his comrade, his superiors, and his country. If China would allow a full and open inquiry (the Navy requested an interview from the Wei's wingman, but China refused), we may be able to determine the complete causes of the incident and prevent future problems. But, since only one side of the story is openly discussed with all of the witnesses, most in the US are forced to conclude the US is telling the truth and China is distorting the facts. How else can the US come to another reasonable conclusion? BQZip01 talk 23:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't find any English sites that would back up the "seeking money for damage & suffering" claim so I will not add that into "aftermath." TheAsianGURU 05:56, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


TheAsianGURU: I have no problems at all if this article reflects both points of view: the Chinese Daily wrote that the collision occurred in Chinese airspace, and the US plane intentionally rammed the Chinese fighter; but the article has to also reflect what the US was told by the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, what the US pilot claimed, what the US government claimed, etc. It's better to get *all* the facts of the matter out instead of a never ending edit war. swain 04:52, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Concur BQZip01 talk 23:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Territorial Waters?

I'm trying, via WP, to figure out what the airspace really is where the EP-3 was operating. Going by Territorial waters, it was in the exclusive economic zone. AFAICT, the same rules apply to aircraft as to sea vessels, but admittedly I'm guessing. swain 21:26, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I have to say, it's quite hard to find out where the 2 planes ran into each other. I have heard many different locations. Good luck tho, let us know what you got. TheAsianGURU 06:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Your right, teritorial waters are the same for boats and aircraft. International airspace begins 12 NM (nautical miles) out from the coast. Its not very far... The problem lies in what China believes their right is. They may claim something that isn't internationaly accepted as the border. R Hynes (talk) 09:04, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
What would the USA do if there is a foreign (from a hostile country) military plane or boat 70 miles off its coast that came uninvited? (talk) 00:28, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Not much, unless they showed hostile intent. The US would monitor the vessel, however would allow the "freadom of navigation" allowed by the law of the sea- Unless proved otherwise by intent.see this link for the page discussing specifics [1]--R Hynes (talk) 04:58, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

POV and citations

This article implies, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that the 'Chinese Version' of the story is more accepted by Chinese people because of 'national pride' or 'anti-American sentiment', but it fails to cite any sources to prove that. Furthermore, it fails to mention the core disputations such as whether the crash happened in the Exclusive Economic Zone, and how United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea dictates certain rights to either party in this case. For this I found at the current state, the article is slightly POV and needs citations. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:16, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

I have posted full length links from the CCTV of China in the "Location of collision." So stop coming here & edit out of what "YOU" think. Also, read before you post. TheAsianGURU 16:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Added 6 links to support the article. Tag removed. TheAsianGURU 17:02, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I've been purusing the New York Times archives, since they are now free; found this very interesting take on how the Chinese people viewed Wang's death and subsequent "martyrdom":

"Many Chinese were moved by the death of Mr. Wang, who was apparently a spirited and fearless airman, and by the suffering of his wife and young son. But as the hyperbole has soared, many people say they have just tuned it out -- a remarkable change from the Communist Party's heyday when everyone paid heed to mass campaigns. This week, some Chinese even joked privately that the military had probably located Mr. Wang soon after the collision over the South China Sea and spirited him away for a change of identity, to permit the creation of a badly needed national hero."

Here: swain 02:30, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

"During one such incident, Wang is shown approaching so close that his email address could be clearly read from a sign that he had been holding up." - Is this accurate? (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 06:27, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

It is. Video was shown on CNN, FoxNews, etc. — BQZip01 — talk 06:36, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Found a reference: "The Chinese pilot whose F-8 collided with an American spy plane six days ago had flown so close to American aircraft in recent months that he was photographed clearly. In one picture, he was seen holding a white paper with his e-mail address written on it." swain (talk) 17:07, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Destruction of equipment

Should I ever recover my copy of the pilot's book, I can add a quote or two on how the equipment was destroyed. He wrote that all the destruction of sensitive equipment occurred before the plane landed; he gives a detailed account of the smashing and ejecting of laptops while still airborn. For that matter, his account of the collision would make the article more interesting as well. swain 19:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC) -If the guy was flying the plane, he was probably not the best person to ask about how and if the equipment was properly destroyed- especially while flying the plane. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Restore back to aug 22nd version

Due to all the POV edits, the version is switched back to aug 22nd version. For those “erasers,” the “aftermath section” was agreed and discussed here. The Chinese sources are from the official Chinese Media CCTV, they are crucial for showing the Chinese POV of the incident in the “aftermath section.” (if you don’t know what CCTV is, then educate yourself first before coming on here and wipe out everything.) TheAsianGURU 18:02, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

It was agreed upon only by yourself. Your personal consensus does not overrule NPOV and reliable sourcing. Also, snide comments like your last sentence are not helpful. SWATJester Denny Crane. 18:21, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think you have read the discussion above --- "Location of collision" and people agreed to put those up. You didn't understand CCTVs were and the importance of those in the reflection of "aftermath section." Sure, they are not in English, but I have translated all the titles. You erased everything that before you came on to this article today, that's what you called using your "admin power"? I hadn't added anything since Aug 22nd and I have no POVs in this issue, I have been trying to add that and let everybody know that the Chinese have a very different take of this issue. I am bring it back to 22nd of Aug again. Somebody better lock it, because I don't agree with your edits. TheAsianGURU 18:31, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
PS, I also stand by my statement that you should educate yourself on what CCTV is and its importance in this matter. TheAsianGURU 18:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I was one of those people and I see no problem with including the Chinese point of view (it is still neutral if both sides are discussed), as much as I disagree with it and I think it is simple propaganda. — BQZip01 — talk 22:00, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
BTW, CCTV could be a bit ambiguous...I thought it might be Closed-Circuit TV, at first. — BQZip01 — talk 01:35, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

So I received this message in my talk section today.

Please stop. If you continue to make edits that introduce unsourced and/or poorly sourced material in order to justify a nonneutral POV, you will be blocked from editing. This is not a content dispute: this is enforcement of policy. Any material that is unsourced, or sourced unreliably may be removed at any time, per our standards at WP:V. Let this be your warning now...if you reinsert the material again, the page will be protected and/or you will be blocked from editing. 00:19, 5 September 2007 (UTC)⇒ SWATJester Denny Crane.

Now I am forced to not to change anymore or I will be blocked. How can this guy be an admin?!?! I am the only person here that can read Chinese, that can translate Chinese here on this page. (based on my believe, if I miss anybody, i m sorry.) I agree with people that the CCTV stuff were Chinese propaganda, and that's why they are rightfully belong to "Aftermath section" to reflect the what Chinese people feel towards this issue. There was also another link that was from PBS, is that NOT in English either?! Where can I report this? It's NOT a POV, it's NOT "sourced unreliably," just because you don't understand what it is doesn't mean it's unreliable. I wrote something you didn't like and you have to change it forcefully. This is NOT an enforcement of rules, this is abuse power by an admin. You bet I will challenge this. TheAsianGURU 03:15, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

From this point of view, this does appear to be an abuse of an admin. He is stating a fact of how the Chinese viewed the situation in their state-sponsored (read: state-run) media and how this has affected relations with the United States. It certainly IS a valid point. Unless you have an English version of the broadcast, it will be impossible to get another source.
Further, quoting from WP:CITE#Why sources should be cited, "Because this is the English Wikipedia, English-language sources should be given whenever possible, and should always be used in preference to other language sources of equal calibre. However, do give references in other languages where appropriate. If quoting from a different language source, an English translation should be given with the original-language quote beside it." (emphasis added) — BQZip01 — talk 03:32, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

And in this case, the chinese source is simply not appropriate, and not reliable. If the chinese view is accurate, get CNN or BBC to support it. I'll be waiting. SWATJester Denny Crane. 13:50, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I still don’t think you understand why I added the CCTV media coverage links here. Let me say it 1 more time --- I DO BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE CHINESE PROPAGANDA and I am NOT here to promote their agendas. I added them because I wanted to put in that the Chinese general public has a VERY different POV towards this issue than we do. And here on wiki, we want to include that onto the English page of the wiki to reflect that “it’s a very different issue depending on who you ask when you talk to people in a pub in China.” That’s all. TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
You do not have any sort of right to push the chinese POV on this article. Furthermore, you alone do not speak for the chinese people. Maybe capital letters will help. YOU NEED A RELIABLE SOURCE THAT SAYS THE CHINESE PEOPLE THINK A CERTAIN WAY. Anything less is weasel words, and POV pushing. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Wiki uses BBC/CNN/MSNBC & all other western medias to show western POVs, why can't the Chinese CCTV be added here to show Chinese POV? In fact, CCTV believes that BBC/CNN/MSNBC are all "PROPAGANDAs." I think capital letters letters will help also --- CHINESE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN CCTV! THEY DON'T GET CNN OR BBC! I don't think they are (cctv) reporting right, they are bias and not turthful, but hey, the Chinese people believe them, because they don't get anything else. TheAsianGURU 17:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Please look at the sentences that I removed: However, it was rumored that Lieutenant Osborn had been ordered to ditch the aircraft, that he had disobeyed orders and performed an emergency landing instead, and left the Navy a year after the incident.[citation needed] This sentence was unsubstantiated rumor, and cannot be allowed under WP:V and WP:RS

I didn't write that, plus it has no source, you can remove it. TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

As for the Chinese general public, most believe the “Chinese version” of the story. "Most people" is a weasel word, which we do not allow Because the EP-3 is a military aircraft, and it was clearly conducting reconnaissance on China, the general public was more concerned with the issue of national pride. There is nothing to indicate that the plane was "clearly conducting reconnaissance" on China. That's simply the unsourced POV of the Chinese government.

Yes, I wrote this. You could have removed "on China" and I would have no problem with your action. Yes, it's a POV of Chinese government and in order to prove that --- i had the CCTV links with translation of the titles. The Chinese government used CCTV to spread their messages and created hates towards Americans. I was there back in 2001, and I saw those “anti Imperial Americanism” demonstrations with my own eyes. That’s why we should include that in here. TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you've seen with your own eyes. WP:NOR states "No Original Research". You admit above that you're trying to push a POV on the article. You admit on my talk page that it's an unreliable source. You have yet to come up with a reason that fits policy as to why the links are ACCEPTABLE to be included. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Push what? How many times I have to say that they are NOT my POVs, I want them to be added for the sick of Chinese people, for everybody else to know that "oh, the Chinese don't think like the way we do, because they watch CCTV all the time."TheAsianGURU 17:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, all of the sources are in Chinese, so we can't even verify if the sources actually reflect what is in the article. And even if it DID reflect what was in the article, we cannot use it because it is propaganda from an unreliable source.

I can. In fact, here on wiki, I am a member of WikiProject China. Or if you want, you can get other Chinese speaking wiki members here to verify on what I translated. Again, it's NOT unreliable, it's just to prove that Chinese POV is different from us.TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
It IS unreliable, and you say so yourself right here. This is not your battleground to prove a WP:POINT. Nor does being a Wikiproject China member give you any special privilege to violate our NPOV and Reliable Source policies. There is a reason we have a guideline that says that sources on the english wikipedia project need to be in english. It's been quoted to you above. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Links again....zzzz....I have never said that they are reliable. Also, since when I said I am a member of WikiProject China I get privilege??? I was just suggesting that you can ask other members to translate or verify what I translated. TheAsianGURU 17:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

These sentences violate multiple policies: NPOV, RS, UNDUE, etc. Just because you want them in MrASIANGuru, doesn't mean that it is acceptable to let them in. The reason I threatened to protect the article has nothing to do with the content of the article, it has everything to do with the policy violation in the article. We simply do not allow POV pushing on this project, and you obviously have an axe to grind here. Grind it elsewhere. SWATJester Denny Crane. 13:57, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

You removed the whole things without even coming onto the talk page to dicuessed first. I bet anybody else would also undo your edit in no time. TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Policy violations do not need to be discussed. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I've added in a compromise sentence, that elucidates the Chinese view (actually duplicates, since the chinese view is listed multiple times at the top of the page.) This should be over and resolved now. SWATJester Denny Crane. 14:01, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

One setence doesn't cut it. I would say we need more. I will think about the wordings and post it here first. TheAsianGURU 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I added a little more to it, talking about the collision in addition to the location. SWATJester Denny Crane. 03:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Stop. Just stop. On my user talk page, you yourself admitted that the source is not reliable. The very very simple fact is that the CCTV source is NOT reliable, and therefore CANNOT be admitted. End of story, full stop. If you can find a RELIABLE source saying the same thing, things would be different. If the BBC or CNN says "The chinese people think this", then you can enter it. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:16, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Admitted???? Of What???? Since when I said the source was reliable???? You don't need to post the link here, I have always been saying that the CCTV source is NOT reliable (even way before you discovered this page). The key here is NOT to cite CCTV as a "reliable source" (which I have been saying that all my life, you can check all the edit history you want, even on the talk page.) but to use it to show that the Chinese people are influenced by the propaganda and their POV is very different from everybody else. That's all. No, it's NOT the end of story, it's NOT full stop. The most we can come up with is agree to disagree. But we need more in the "aftermath section," we need a 3rd person to add something that both of us can agree on. Of course I can't add anything, because I don't wanna be blocked! (Thank you for the warning letter.) TheAsianGURU 17:39, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Solution Proposal

I welcome all people to share their ideas here to see if we can improve the “aftermath section” or any other sections so that we can solve this problem on hand. Thank you all for your inputs. TheAsianGURU 19:09, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the best way to phrase it is to state something like, "The Government run media in China claimed..." this adds credibility to the report's existence and its claims without lending credibility to its conclusions. The sources are fine and should be retained under these constraints. — BQZip01 — talk 19:19, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Seconded. I think at heart AsianGURU has the best of intentions; we're just running into some valid policy issues along the way. theAsianGURU: I thought the Chinese gov't published English language versions. While still gov't sources, might they not contribute to this somehow? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wainstead (talkcontribs) 21:57, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
As an example, Youtube may not be reliable and can be altered/used for copyright infringement/etc., BUT can be used to verify a basic claim.
Swatjester, just because you can't read it, doesn't make it any less accurate. WP policy is that you shouldn't use non-English sources if English sources are available. If they aren't, a non-English source is acceptable. — BQZip01 — talk 19:19, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
That is correct, but unreliable sources are never acceptable except under an extremely limited set of circumstance, none of which apply here. I agree with Wainstead above, and while I haven't looked at the links below, if they're reliable (i.e. actual news sites and not propaganda) then they should go in. SWATJester Denny Crane. 23:16, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I would quote them directly as examples of the Chinese government's point of view. That keeps it completely factual: here is what the gov't claimed. I don't know if that jives with WP policy or not, but it seems to me that it's a fact that the Chinese gov't reported a set of claims consistently. At the very least, the wingman's claims are very interesting and utterly contradictory to the American pilot's claims. swain 00:40, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah~ The People's Daily...I was thinking about TV News and forgot newspaper. Thanks for all the good work Swain. I want to point out is that there just a very very small difference between "propaganda" and "news." Take us who live in the US for example, some might think that "FoxNews" is a propaganda station, (I AM NOT MAKING A STATEMENT HERE.) some might think that "MSNBC" is a propaganda station. Because they all report with their agendas. (Again, NOT MAKING A STATEMENT.) In China, all medias are controlled by the party and they are all censored and monitored. So 99.99% of the "daily news" contain their agendas, which also means they are propagandas and they are the tools for controlling the people & keep them think the way that the party wants them to think. Therefore, The people's view = The Party's View = The Chinese GOVT's view. TheAsianGURU 16:46, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome! :o) And my humble opinion is FoxNews and MSNBC are motivated by profit above all else. The People's Daily is an arm of the Communist Party and the goal is to "maintain order." That's strictly my POV :o) swain 17:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

You're correct, but that's what the compromise sentence already states...The difference is that the compromise sentence states that it is the Chinese GOV'T's view, whereas AsianGuru's version states it as the PEOPLE's view. SWATJester Denny Crane. 03:35, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Alas, I missed your rewrite. Thanks! swain 04:11, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the new sentence comes short for my expection. However, I will accept because compromise is a part of democracy. BTW, as I pointed above, in China - The people's view = The Party's View = The Chinese GOVT's view. Sure there different voices in China, they are either silenced quickly or "reeducated" and their views changed. TheAsianGURU 16:46, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

People's Daily versions of the incident

The first link gives the copilot's account of the accident. Perhaps these would be useful sources for the Communist Party's version of the events? swain 22:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC) (<--)

Thank you for all the links here, I think we should add this to the "external links" section. TheAsianGURU 16:47, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Seconded, but I wouldn't add all of them. Two perhaps. swain 17:45, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
How about that one? TheAsianGURU 17:18, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Two items out of those articles, I think, should make it into the article:
1. The award given to Wei posthumously, and:
2. His copilot's account of the collision
but I wouldn't add the latter until a comparable account by Shane is included for comparison. Then use both links as citations. (in my opinion. :o) swain 20:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

"Spy Plane" versus reconnaissance

The term "spy plane" seems kind of loaded to me... and today I was reading pilot Shane Osborn's interview on PBS's frontline. Quote:

So you realize it's spying?

Oh, I wouldn't call it spying. I mean, there's no hiding that EP-3. If you've seen that thing, it's not hard to figure out where that's at. We don't fly high, we don't fly fast, and we put a pretty good radar return off all those antennas and dishes hanging off of our plane.

Wikipedia currently redirects 'spy plane' to 'Surveillance aircraft'... it seems to me, at least to the military, there's a distinction. swain 00:53, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a significant difference and this should be changed immediately. "spy" implies a covert act. Surveillance implies that it is done legally. — BQZip01 — talk 02:16, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
 Done — BQZip01 — talk 02:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
gracias!!! swain 04:11, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Problems with new version

  1. "spy plane" is POV unless spying has been conclusively proven (such as the case of the U-2). Recon allows for the possibility of both legal and illegal means. Rephrased accordingly.
  2. "EP-3s are highly sophisticated spy-planes that can pick up information while operating in international waters. This was probably what prompted the Chinese government to send two J-8s to investigate its actions." See above for categorization as a spy plane. The latter sentence is strictly speculation. Sentence deleted accordingly.
  3. Territorial status has always been a problem in the area. Noting this contention is central to the issue at hand. Rephrased accordingly.
  4. "miles" is preferable to "mi". Rephrased accordingly throughout. Wikilinking is certainly ok.
  5. "after several unsuccessful intercepts" is accurate as the jet made several attempts to interfere with the EP-3's flightplan. Rephrased accordingly.
  6. "as per international rules permit when a foreign plane intrudes upon a sovereign country's territory, they were taken to a Chinese military barracks where they were interrogated. By the available information, the U.S. crew was well-treated by the Chinese government while on Hainan." International rules in this case must also reflect an aircraft in distress. Since an invasion into Chinese airspace has not been established prior to the collision, this sentence is misleading as-is. Their treatment is not cited well and several were roughed up in the incident, so this is misleading. Rephrased accordingly.
  7. What the Chinese "did not have to allow" is immaterial and is based on a single POV not agreed upon by both parties to the situation. As such, the previous phrasing was adequate. Rephrased accordingly.
  8. Deleting the decorations of American aviators in favor of the Chinese side of the story is very telling regarding your POV. Rephrased accordingly.

— BQZip01 — talk 11:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Clarification: I'm not saying the U-2 is a spy plane, only that it has been used as one. Reconnaissance is a much more accurate term for an object.
Request: To the most recent IP editor, please get a screen name so we can have a meaningful discussion. — BQZip01 — talk 11:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Woo..."CounterVandalismBot"!...Good job guys. TheAsianGURU 04:29, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed! First time I've ever seen it. swain 14:54, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

FA Status

Does anyone want to shoot for Featured Article status with me on this article? It seems to be a relatively simple article and already pretty well-referenced. A few tweaks here and there should get it up to par, but I'm not going to do it alone. Who's with me? — BQZip01 — talk 15:12, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I'll help! What changes do you propose? swain 15:15, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Here's what the semi-automated peer review came up with:

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas.

— BQZip01 — talk 16:26, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
There's probably an info box we should use with the damaged EP-3E as the main image. We could also use some an image of a "normal" EP-3E. Expansion of all available info would also be pretty good (such as the history of "thumping" U.S. reconnaissance planes. I have to go for now, but you may want to read my tips for help. — BQZip01 — talk 16:41, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I should have a copy of Shane Osbourne's book later this week... I'd like to quote his description of the encounter and contrast it with the one by Wei's wingman as it ran in the People's Daily (one of the links I pasted on this page previously). I think we can get a really good quality description from both sides, and that will expand the article in a useful way. I'm going to search through the NYT archives for more details as well. swain 04:33, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


The article mentions that the U.S. acknowledged that the EP-3 was in Chinese Airspace in the Letter of Two Sorries. This is contradicted in the Aftermath section that states the U.S. has never made such an admission. So I've tagged the page with the contradiction cleanup template. Darthveda (talk) 12:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

After reading the Letter of Two Sorries, I don't see any acknowledgement of being in Chinese airspace, outside of making an emergency landing. Quote: "We are very sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal clearance[.]" This is separate from the issue of: was the aircraft in Chinese airspace while conducting surveillance? In that case, the Chinese media says yes, the American government says no (we've hashed that out elsewhere on this page). swain (talk) 17:32, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The letter of the two sorries, the apology was made expressly for not having verbal clearance before entering Chinese airspace. It was never stated that they were sorry for entering the airspace, merely that they were sorry they did so without explicit permission:
"We are very sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal clearance."
I believe this tag to be in error. While I think it should be removed, I'm not going to take a gutshot reaction and remove it right now unless you feel it has addressed your concerns. Furthermore, please don't tag articles as a first step as it detracts from the article. Most of us monitor the talk pages as well and would be happy to answer your questions there. If there is no response, I will remove it in one week. — BQZip01 — talk 21:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
At the very least it needs to be reworded. The current wording under "Letter of the two sorries" is confusing and does sound contradictory. Darthveda (talk) 00:41, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I've re-read it, but everything appears to be as stated in the letter and explanation. What specifically is a problem? — BQZip01 — talk 02:25, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to remove the tag, but feel free to replace it if you find I am in error and/or whatever is said here doesn't address your concerns. — BQZip01 — talk 02:06, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
If misread, the current wording can lead one to believe that the United States apologized for entering Chinese airspace as unrelated to conducting a landing. That is, entered even before the incident.Darthveda (talk) 05:49, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Respectfully, if you misread anything, it can lead you to believe something that isn't there. How do you suggest it be changed? I tweaked it a little, but feel free to be bold and change it to something else. — BQZip01 — talk 20:00, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
The new wording clears up the confusion. Much appreciated. :) Darthveda (talk) 01:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
No prob! — BQZip01 — talk 04:39, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


This article states that American diplomats were allowed to meet with the crew within a day of their emergency landing. Lt. Shane Osborn's book, Born to Fly, makes a big point about the isolation the EP-3E crew had from any sort of American official until nearly a week after the landing. Unless someone puts a reference to the 'one-day' version of events, I will shortly edit it to fit the published version.--ScottieB (talk) 17:20, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Scottie, please put new comments at the bottom of the page per WP:TALK. You're relatively new, so no problems. I did the same thing when I first joined.
I think the problem lies in the ambiguity of the English language. What was meant by the sentence was that the diplomats were able to talk to them once the diplomats landed. I have changed the article to make the usage more clear, but, in short, the English language sucks. Good catch on clarity! :-) — BQZip01 — talk 02:44, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Spying vs surveillance/reconnaissance

There is a distinction within the English language between these concepts. While spying is covert, clandestine, and illegal, surveillance/recon is perfectly legal, even if those being observed don't like it. While there is obviously a little matter of dispute here, both the U.N. and U.S. use the same definition of international airspace. If a sole country disagrees and makes an exception, I say we go with the majority here and call the actions of the EP-3 "surveillance" and/or "reconnaissance". "Spying" is inappropriate. Additionally, I have been told that there is no difference between the words in Mandarin Chinese, so the connotation/definitions of the words may not make a direct translation.

I labeled this latest change as vandalism because the same IP does not participate in any discussion and insists on making the same types of changes. — BQZip01 — talk 06:03, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The words "surveillance" and/or "reconnaissance" is used when it is done by USA or a USA-ass licking European country. The word, "spying" is used when it is done by Russia, China, India or any other country. This is called pure racism. 90% of the Wikipedia articles are pro-American (USA) and anti-Chinese, anti-Russian, anti-Iranian, anti-Afghan, etc. For example, there are no information on Wikipedia on crimes committed by CIA agents. But you will find that Wikipedia has lots of crimes committed by Russian intelligence agency, the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing, India), etc. Wikipedia is one of the million so called "western-democracy" propaganda sources. Remember, Wikipedia Foundation is in US. (added by IP)
Your opinion, but your conclusions are based upon your own beliefs, not any research I've seen. Sources? — BQZip01 — talk 20:50, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Edits of 29 Sep 08 to the intro

While I have no intention of trying to double-guess Swatjester, a reading of the new lead seems to legitimize the US pov by associating with it a statement which sounds "concrete" (viz. by associating with it the UN treaty on the sea). My concern is that while the Chinese argument is presented as just that, an argument, the pillar the US side relies on (the UN treaty) is just mentioned as a fact without reference to the US side's reliance on that. Which is why "the American side invoke" was inserted.

That said, I have no problem with the edit to "Aftermath", which was a good thing in my view (feel free to disagree :D). (talk) 06:05, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Crewmember list removed

I removed the list of the crew's names, ranks, and home towns, which is surely not necessary for a summary of this incident. Tempshill (talk) 00:57, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

So far either of the claims can not be further verified.

This is a sample of the prose. I added a {{copyedit}} tag but it was removed. Can someone please replace the tag or else improve the writing? Thanks. --John (talk) 14:03, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Fixed. Anything else? As a suggestion, if you see something that needs to be fixed, be bold and fix it. :-) — BQZip01 — talk 17:48, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Experienced editors, especially those who are admins, add edit tags if they do not have the time to fix the problem themselves, or if they are unsure of the subject matter, and think someone else with a better understanding of the subject should have a look. - BillCJ (talk) 18:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Bill for standing up for me. I gave it a proper cleanup; nothing should lie unsourced for two months in an article like this. I may add some (sourced) info later. --John (talk) 19:49, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Guys, there was no offense or slight intended. My point was that simply adding a tag at the top doesn't help people find anything. I'm sure I could add a similar tag to almost every article, but it wouldn't help find problems. IMHO, if you have time to notice an error, please help to fix it. I concur that the statement should indeed have been deleted. Thanks for the catch. — BQZip01 — talk 23:54, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
No offense or slight was taken. I doubted whether I would have time to do the work myself, but I managed. I hope you agree the article looks better now, which is a result. I have a decent source on this incident, which I may use to add a few details later. Fly safely. --John (talk) 05:43, 9 December 2008 (UTC)


The article says "Reports indicate the crew was only partially successful in destroying sensitive equipment/data, and that the Chinese were able gather useful intelligence information from much of the equipment.[5]" (sourced to the Baltimore Sun but not online so I haven't verified it) and "The Chinese military boarded the plane, but it is not known if they retrieved any sensitive information, or how effective the crew's destruction of the onboard technology was." Clearly these two statement contradict each other Nil Einne (talk) 15:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Not necessarily. Brookes has: "It is not clear precisely how much sensitive equipment and material was destroyed before PR32 landed." (p110) So, nobody in the open world is going to come out and tell us any time soon, but educated sources think they probably got useful stuff. Feel free to suggest a clearer wording. --John (talk) 15:26, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I had a hack myself. --John (talk) 15:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I tracked down the source online and clarified the article. Hope you agree it looks better now. --John (talk) 18:01, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

"Black box" ref removed

I took this out as it wasn't in any of the references I have accessed in improving the article. Most military aircraft don't have an FDR or CVR, as far as I know. Anybody? --John (talk) 22:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

In general, most do not have an FDR or CVR, but they may contain other elements from which a recreation could be made and/or data gleaned. As such, the article is accurate enough. Going into unnecessary technical details won't improve readability. — BQZip01 — talk 05:40, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I took it out though as it didn't seem to make sense. The downed fighter wasn't recovered (AFAIK), so that wouldn't be possible. The recon plane was recovered more-or-less intact by the USN, eventually. So "The Chinese government claimed that the US plane "veered at a wide angle towards the Chinese", and refused to release the black boxes from both planes. Accordingly, neither of the claims can be further verified." just wasn't making sense to me. I think if it was restored I would like to see a ref for it. None of the refs I've looked at mention any sort of evidence like this, so if it does exist, presumably it isn't in the public domain. As always, I stand to be corrected. --John (talk) 06:19, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree - clear speak is good. I also concur that military a/c don't usually have CVRs and black boxes... Mark Sublette (talk) 06:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette (talk) 06:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


The article says the aircraft was on Mission PR32, PR32 is the aircraft side number (PR being the code for VQ-1 and can be seen on the article image) is their a source that the mission or callsign used the side number? MilborneOne (talk) 18:55, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, it's from the Brookes book that I've been using. --John (talk) 20:27, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
"...just before midnight on 31 March 2001, 156511 took off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa as Mission PR32." (p101) I had assumed that "PR" related to the plane's reconnaissance mission. Brookes is usually spot-on with stuff like this. If you think you can suggest a better wording, please do so, especially if you can source it. --John (talk) 20:35, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Chinese text

Was the Chinese text of the sorry letter composed by the US govt, or by the Chinese govt. Does anyone have a complete copy of the Chinese text which was distributed? see s:Talk:Letter of the two sorries# Language. --John Vandenberg (chat) 06:10, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

It was translated by the Chinese government, not the U.S. government. — BQZip01 — talk 06:49, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
And the US didn't have its own version? John is correct: it is indeed a sorry letter. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 17:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it would be interesting to have more info on that. I am user Guinnog who started that thread over there. --John (talk) 21:40, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Background: UN Convention

I have added some information on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea stating that all states the right of overflight of an exclusive economic zone. I believe it is POV to only quote the part about respecting a nation's laws in an EEZ but not mention this fact. I also added a small amount of detail re: the disputes over islands in the S. China Sea. I believe that these should not be controversial changes but happy to discuss this with anybody. Regards,Spinner145 (talk) 04:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I've made a few more edits because I think the current formulation was misleading, making it sound like the U.S. disregards the Treaty entirely. In fact, the U.S. naval policy is based explicitly on the treaty even though the U.S. is not a signatory. The issue is that the U.S. interprets the treaty as imparting freedom of overflight through another country's EEZ, while China interprets the Convention as allowing them to exclude other countries vessels and aircraft from transitting their EEZ. Hopefully this provides a more accurate introduction to the controversy. Spinner145 (talk) 14:31, 4 April 2009 (UTC)


I've made some improvements to the grammar and formatting. I don't think much work would be required to get this close to GAC. Parrot of Doom (talk) 16:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Great work! What would it need, do you think? --John (talk) 02:17, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Chinese assets

What would the Chinese naval assets on Hainan at the time have been? I'm trying to flesh out the "Background" section. --John (talk) 18:10, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Considering it is an island, I would assume "none" since all were at sea. "-P
In all seriousness, I don't know.—Preceding unsigned comment added by BQZip01 (talkcontribs)
LOL. This may be of interest. --John (talk) 23:20, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I've been following this page for ages, and I have to say you guys are doing an oustanding job. Keep it up! swain (talk) 04:20, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


I wonder if one more picture would help the article? There is an interesting Commons gallery here. --John (talk) 04:10, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Here is another proposal, to illustrate the plane better. --John (talk) 04:36, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I was bold and replaced the map image with that image of a VQ-1 aircraft in flight as I think it is more illustrative. --John (talk) 09:11, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The copyright status of the image in the infobox has been queried. Anybody mind if we remove it pending clarification? --John (talk) 01:49, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I have removed it meantime. --John (talk) 01:51, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
... and it has been nominated for deletion from Commons as a copyvio (though not by me). Questions: is it justified to retain it as a nonfree pic? I think a valid fair use rationale could be constructed, especially as the other images are free. If not, or even in the meantime, what do we think of the image I replaced it with? --John (talk) 03:56, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I am ambivalent - if it is not properly licensed, then drop it. I did not post the image originally - I only added the photo credit line as I found it reported in Air Forces Monthly... Mark Sublette (talk) 13:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette (talk) 13:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
It's been restored as a nonfree pic with a fair use rationale, which I am fine with. --John (talk) 18:55, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I added a new map which I made. Any comments would be welcomed. --John (talk) 02:58, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

The caption for the picture is wrong, I believe that picture is from the landing at Hawaii, not NAS Whidbey Island. The crew landed at Whidbey on a C-9. R Hynes (talk) 00:53, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Anything concrete to back that assertion up? I remember watching it live while my father (Amn Towne's commander) was debating the intricacies of the rules/regulations of leave with some braindead shoeclerk at personnel (they wanted the airman to go back to Japan before he could take dad called B.S. and threw the flag). I distinctly remember the scene unfolding pretty much as depicted. Perhaps my memory is faulty and the caption provided by the Air Force is wrong. I mean that in all sincerity, so if you have something to back that up, BE BOLD! Feel free to fix it yourself. — BQZip01 — talk 05:27, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I was there on Whidbey on a welcome detail when the C-9 Landed, the plane was from VR-61 based on Whidbey. I will see if I can drum up one of the flyers or something to back up my memory.R Hynes (talk) 11:28, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I am new to this, I just wanted to let you guys know the caption was wrong. According to my memory and this Stars and Stripes Report. The plane that brought the crew to Whidbey was a C-9 Called the "City of Seattle" brought them home to NAS Whidbey. The caption of the picture you have shows the plane as the "Spirit of Bob Hope". —Preceding unsigned comment added by R Hynes (talkcontribs) 11:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
We were all new once. Welcome. I tabbed over your comments. Usually people tab them over to make it more clear which was a response to each comment. Simply start lines with a colon (or more than one).
The source you have seems to be pretty good and the source on the image page confirms it. They basically repeated this ceremony at Whidbey Island and it was indeed a C-9 so that's what I must have been thinking of. Good job updating it! — BQZip01 — talk 13:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Media coverage?

There is no mention of how the American and Chinese media responded to this event, the evolution of media coverage--both in tone (which was quite forceful at first) and frequency, which dropped off quite fast as i remember, presumably after the letter of two sorries was issued). Nor is there mention of the evolution of congressmen's and the president's reactions/remarks. --gwc (talk) 07:27, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Unless it is specifically mentioned elsewhere, the adding the frequency or intensity of reporting would be synthesis of information; this violates our policies/guidelines. I'm not against adding such information, but it would need a source. I'll happily compromise with you on it and if you will find the source, I'll add the information to the article. — BQZip01 — talk 15:59, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


This article is written from a U.S. (and its allies) POV, esp. the section dedicated to the actual incident. There are no references from China's POV. Sure, China's government won't tell the truth about it, blurring lies into what happened, but that's also what the U.S. government does. "The U.S. military and government did not lie in this instance" is not an acceptable argument against POV in this case. Kingturtle (talk) 13:29, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Respectfully, there is nothing in your assertion that can be addressed. What specifically is POV? The section you mention does mention that the Chinese govt didn't make any assertions about other specifics in the incident. If there is something specific that can be addressed (i.e. which sentences and what about them is POV), I'll be happy to see what I can do. However, stating what each side claims is merely stating facts and is inherently as unbiased as you can get despite the POVs of each side. — BQZip01 — talk 15:15, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, what can we do to eliminate POV here other than to state the source the accounts? I don't think a neutrality tag is warranted. Spinner145 (talk) 11:33, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
If there is no truthful position in china there should not be a Chinese point of view. also the U.S. is generally more acurate due to the independent media they have to put into their political calculations. oh and it IS true that spy planes are generally less maneuverable than fighter planes and thus it was the fighter jets fault — Preceding unsigned comment added by Undeadplatypus (talkcontribs) 17:38, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
No, WP represents a neutral point of view, that is that all major sides of an incident are appropriately represented in an article. I believe that the Chinese government is indeed lying to "save face" and act as the victimized party, but, in fact, they are not. That said, it would be an incomplete article if we did not to state their opinions on the matter, no matter their accuracy. Buffs (talk) 22:53, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Hainan Island incident/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

There is no reference to how the author of this account knows whether the U.S. detainees liked or disliked the food provided during their internment. As such, I earnestly question the objectivity of this entry. If the author of this entry does know the first-hand accounts of the U.S. crew's sentiments towards the food-- then there is a concealed bias (due to omission of how the author knows this information). If the author of the entry makes the claim based on here-say, then I am just as doubtful regarding the veracity of this article. Citation of primary historical sources is essential for reliable historical rigor.

Thank you.


I dispute some uncited factual claims in this entry.

Last edited at 05:37, 16 April 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 14:54, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Letter of the two sorries

I really don't think a detailed back-and-forth of who said what about this letter belongs in the lede of this article about the incident. What do others think? --John (talk) 04:10, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

The document's releaseby the US government was simultaneously made with these statements; the careful wording and the stress that it wasn't an apology was a major point crucial to understanding the incident. To use the jargon title for the letter (in essence condensing the carefully and notably worded document into a single word of "sorry") is misleading and seems to intentionally portray only one side's pov. (talk) 13:16, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The letter was known in most of the contemporary and subsequent coverage as "the letter of the two sorries". The controversy about whether or not the letter amounted to an apology needs to be covered here, but not on the lede paragraph. --John (talk) 13:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a source for that contradicting the source I provided? I have many more, if you would like. If you recall, in fact, coverage of whether it amounted to an apology was much more covered and much more notable than the issuance of the letter itself. Do you think that a reader to whom this incident is new would know what "the letter of the two sorries" means if they just read the lead? It's jargon and requires further explanation to even understand the meaning. The reason it was called in such a fashion was because of the emphasis the Chinese side put on the US side to include those two words. But without explanation in any form, it is a seemlingly Chinese POV pushing intro since it only portrays the words they cared about, effectively removing the crucial context to have any semblance of balanced understanding of the incident. (talk) 14:04, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
You may need to read further down into the article where the letter has a section all to itself. This is the place for balanced and verifiable coverage of this matter, not the lede. The statement self-described as "not a letter of apology," but "an expression of regret and sorrow" is factually incorrect as the letter itself does not contain this text. --John (talk) 14:08, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
But Wikipedia utilizes principles recognizing that many users don't read further down. It's not factually incorrect. I'm not sure if you are a native English speaker, but the "self" here in "self-described" is referring to the US. The idea is that the US, while releasing the document, simultaneously described it/characterized (themselves) as not an apology. By including that word, it is more clear that it is what the US itself is saying so as to avoid confusion. (talk) 14:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
In addition, by only including the words important to the Chinese, you are making it imbalanced. Of course, everything I added was verifiable (see the sources you seem keen on deleting). (talk) 14:18, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
No, the key statement you are adding is false, and not verifiable. See above. --John (talk) 14:22, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I haven't edited this one before, but happened to see the wording argument going on and thought I'd weigh in. I agree with all the others, John--your insistence to use that name for the letter spins the entire lead in a POV light. I checked it over and tried to work in both ideas. Everything there is extremely verifiable. Just read his sources. And the ones that were already there. --Cheers, Komdori 00:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
"Self-described" definitely isn't the right adjective. The name for the letter comes from the sources, I believe. The lede isn't the place for a long discussion about who said what about the letter, though there is room to compromise in the body of the article where it belongs. --John (talk) 06:16, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I definitely agree there shouldn't be a long discussion, so I agree that we should leave it with the short description that is there now about how it was simultaneously released along with the statement that it wasn't an apology. Certainly half a sentence isn't too much for this extremely important aspect of the article.
Incidentally, the name you are using is actually a bit off of what your sources (CNN, the US govt itself, etc.) used. The synthetic name by the media you are referring to was the letter of two "very sorries" because that phrase in particular was insisted on by the Chinese. This was specifically because they wanted to cut this phrase and use it on its own (if you read the sources--this is the sources' idea, not mine). You are essentially suggesting we do exactly that--cut the phrase and use only that out of context in the lead. In addition, there was a plethora of coverage specifically about how the letter wasn't an apology. This is so critical to understanding this incident as to be perhaps almost the most noteworthy element of the entire thing, definitely belonging in the lead. (talk) 07:20, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

───────────────────────── So now we have until a document was issued by United States government, which stated it was "not a letter of apology," but "an expression of regret."[1][2] which is a) hideously ugly and b) totally one-sided. This isn't going to stand. Sorry, anonymous editor from Arizona. --John (talk) 15:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I invite you to suggest a compromise version. It is essential to at least present this point (yes, in the lead) since it is critical to understanding the event--the sources even discuss how this is a keystone point to the incident. If you feel it is one sided, perhaps you have some sourced material that we could incorporate to make you feel better? I'd really rather avoid you just inserting your personal opinions/commentary in the article since that's how you "saw it happen," "non-anonymous" "John" from who-knows-where. Rather than just blanket revert as you've been doing, why not suggest something here? (talk) 22:51, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

In the interests of full disclosure, I was asked by John to stop by and review this (currently deployed). We need to look at a few issues:

  1. WP policy on the subject: The cited text does not support the specific quotes in any manner and they need to go ASAP.  Done
  2. A more neutrally phrased introduction based on given sources is appropriate and I made such a change. The letter was indeed a pivotal point in resolving the situation and I think it is appropriate in the lead. Feel free to alter it if you feel so inclined (do not edit war).
  3. I removed the sentence about GWB's first foreign policy crisis as it had no associated source.

John, I caution you from issuing edicts "THIS WON'T STAND!" as it comes across as quite hostile. Referring to the letter as "the Letter of Two Sorries" isn't very much POV and seems to be backed up by at least a few sources as an appropriate term . I'm not going to quibble over that.—Preceding unsigned comment added by BQZip01 (talkcontribs)

It seems you came up with somewhat better compromise than I did, which hopefully will please both John and the IP. The one change that must be made to yours, though, is the factually incorrect characterization of the statement as an apology. I actually read the full document the ip cited (are you guilty of only reading the abstract guys?) and not only is it pretty much straight out of that reliable source, even without that it is clear that people are arguing about whether or not it was apology. If we would like to express only one POV, we could just flat out decide in favor of the Chinese in this matter, but then I'd suggest we go all out and rewrite the article, here's a more appropriate lead, perhaps, "The Hainan Island incident was an attempt by the evil imperialist Americans to invade our beloved and peaceful Hainan Island after brutally murdering a pilot, where we kept the murderers until we received an abject apology from the evil Bush." --Cheers, Komdori 18:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. I'm in the military and I see no issue with the facts at hand. The collision happened (both sides disagree on the manner) and the US aviators were not released until the US issued a statement (the connotation of "sorry" is beside the point). But I hope we can all live with the compromise. — BQZip01 — talk 06:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

JAG episode

Isn't there a JAG episode based on this event....? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but only VERY loosely entitled "Dog Robber": List_of_JAG_episodes#Season_7:_2001-2002. — BQZip01 — talk 11:51, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

PRC-controlled island?

I wanted to bring up possibly editing the second paragraph's first sentence from:

"The EP-3 was operating about 70 miles (110 km) away from the PRC-controlled island of Hainan when it was intercepted by two J-8 fighters."

To something more like:

"The EP-3 was operating about 70 miles (110 km) away from the PRC island province of Hainan when it was intercepted by two J-8 fighters."

I believe "-controlled" carries with it a connotation of a disputed piece of land, such as "Indian-controlled Kashmir" or "Israel-controlled areas of the West Bank". Unlike the Spratly Islands, Hainan is undisputedly and completely part of China.

Additionally, I would change:

"moved to a lodge at Haikou, the island's main city"


"moved to lodgings in Haikou, the provincial capital and largest city on the island."

As it gives more clarity and perspective of the location (what does "main city" mean?). Also changing "a lodge" to "lodgings" better defines the fact that they were put up in the Huandao (Tide) Hotel, and not the somewhat ambiguous "lodge". I couldn't find a credible source to backup the actual hotel, or would have added that, but it's common knowledge to Haikou residents.

Am happy to make the changes, just didn't want to step on toes, as this Talk thread is littered with contentious debate. Thoughts? Thehumanaught (talk) 13:36, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I see no issue with such changes and support them. I also see no reason for you NOT to make the changes in the first place. The worst someone should do for such changes would be to simply revert them. Wikipedia sometimes gets a bad rap for hostile editors, but there is a sizable percentage of us that are certainly willing to help. Drop me a line if you need assistance. — BQZip01 — talk 04:38, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing contentious about such edits so go ahead - however "moved to a lodge at Haikou" would be better as "moved to a guesthouse in Haikou". Best, ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 06:49, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback guys. I made the changes (will try to be bolder). Philg88, I changed the "lodge" to "lodgings" as I originally indicated, as I think "guesthouse" still forwards the wrong impression of where they were put up. Guesthouses, particularly in Asia, generally paint a picture of small rickety accommodations. The Huandao Hotel is a rather large and luxurious hotel (see images here). I think lodgings makes the term general enough that it better maintains a NPOV. Thehumanaught (talk) 03:58, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I'm familiar with the Huandao as it is only five minutes from my house :). The reason I suggested "guesthouse" is because that's exactly where they were put, the New State Guest House", which is far from small and as far as I can tell fairly solidly built. Lodgings is fine. Best ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 10:35, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Overtly Chinese POV,

First of all, the area the crash was in is repeatedly prooved to eb outside of china's Eclusive Ecnomic Zone and airspace despite what the china regime (as is most accurate to call it) claims,

secondly the crash, was made by the J-8 repeatedly making high risk manuverus, which any sane pilot would not do AT ALL, we should add how the majority of the world supports the US version, or more accurately the majority of the world supports the truth, how the US version is a complete and convincing possiblity with black box evidence, whereas the chinese claims are based on propaganda, and pretty much half boild to begin with.

i'll start editting on tuesday — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Please remember to provide references, and that neutral point of view can sometimes be difficult to achieve in articles of this kind. Use of terms like "Chinese regime" and "half boiled" and speculation on the actions of the J-8 pilot should be avoided. Acroterion (talk) 11:34, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, anyways, the ACTUAL changes (this is just "spinning") would be something like switching "chinese airspace" to "international airspace", or just saying that the area is disputed, and that the J-8 Pilot is known for agressiveness, and his behaviour was recorded to be unsafe, oh and im adding more reference to the black box data used by the US, whereas china just puts out "testimonies" from their own troops ( (talk) 12:17, 2 July 2012 (UTC))
that was me btw, forgot to log in (Undeadplatypus (talk) 13:00, 2 July 2012 (UTC))