Talk:United States bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade

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Exact location of embassy within Belgrade at the time[edit]

Which suburb/neighborhood of Belgrade was the embassy located in at the time of the NATO bombing? — Informant763 06:19, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

It was located in New BelgradeBeogradjanin292 07:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
At "3 Trešnjin cvet street, Novi Beograd district, Beograd 11070, Jugoslavia". --70.21.6.100 (talk) 00:24, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Removal of quote[edit]

Hi everyone,

I have removed the following passage from the article:

High-ranking NATO sources confirmed in 2005 that the attack was in fact deliberate: "The NATO sources told Defense & Foreign Affairs that the attack was based on intelligence that then Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was to have been in the Embassy at the time of the attack. The attack, then, was deliberately planned as a "decapitation" attack, intended to kill Milosevic." [1]

Because it gives the impression that the 2005 comments are widely accepted - they are not and are really only being reported by the Centre for Research on Globalization [2] — a source known for its promotion of alternative theories of the 9/11 attacks that are not accepted by the mainstream media. The alternative theory that the attack was deliberate is given a brief but far more neutral treatment in the previous paragraph. Needless to say, the sources are anonymous and their comments are not acknowledged by NATO or the United States. [3]. If anyone greatly objects to the removal we can reinstate the quote in a way that properly acknowledges the lack of credibility behind the claim. But I'm hoping since this is a very lightly edited article, the content's removal can just be accepted outright.

Peace all!

Cedars 15:12, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

"Because it gives the impression that the 2005 comments are widely accepted" Then feel free to rearrange it. But the source does adhere to wiki guidelines. Maybe you could add something to the effect: but this has not been verified from other sources, or something. A human 22:32, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

page move?[edit]

This has the potional to be something. However, shouldn't this article be moved to NATO Bombing of the embassy of the People's Republic of China in Belgrade so that readers know this is about the PRC and not the ROC? - Thanks, Hoshie 11:32, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The proposed name is a little long. Since most people have heard about this event and since I think Chinese is more associated with China than Taiwan anyway, I wouldn't change the name. --Ratberta 06:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)


Support the move. --estavisti 08:48, 7 October 2006 (UTC)


That really isn't necessary. For the Republic of China does NOT have any other diplomatic tides in Europe apart from the Vatican.
Foreign relations of the Republic of China TheAsianGURU 22:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
The name has bad grammar, it should be NATO not US and People's Republic of China Embassy doesn't make sense it should be embassy of the People's Republic of China or more the most simple one Chinese Embassy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.105.2.27 (talk) 08:30, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Why not just call it the 58 incident as that is the Chinese Name for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.105.2.27 (talk) 08:35, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

CIA explanation[edit]

I just finished reading Legacy of Ashes and in it Weiner purports that the CIA used a tourist map to provide the location of the FDSR. (page 473 and 474) He also quotes Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson as saying he showed him a picture of the embassy to President Clinton provided by the CIA and said, 'We're going to bomb this because it's the Yugoslav department of military procurement.'

I feel like I should jump in and rewrite this whole section but am unsure how to proceed since the two sources (Tennet's which is currently cited) vs. the Weiner book which quotes from another administration official.

Since that I wrote the paragraph I would probably cringe if you rewrote the whole thing but copyediting is normal. Couple points is I think its best to separate out conspiracy stuff from a actual explanation of the CIA director. I don't know if he telling the truth but at least Tenent is in a position to know. If you read his statement (in the references) he says maps really didn't play a role but instead the actual databases were out of date. I would guess from that statement they were using computerize mapping. Having problems with old data and having problems converting addresses to coordinates are both common in GIS.
Couple of things that make we question Weiner's statements. At the time, I remember a newsperson saying it hard to believe the CIA had out of date maps since you can buy a tourist map with the correct embassy location. Then I think some government official said we cannot just use maps you buy out in a bookstore. Basically I don't think they would use a tourist map and if they did it probably would be more accurate (not the cause of the problem). Also about the part about showing a picture of the embassy to the president. I remember from the news reports at the time that NATO was running out of meaningful targets. So, after launching that many bombings we were still showing a picture every bombing target to the president? So it goes something like this: "Look here Mr. President this is where they buy their jeeps. We going to blow it tomorrow." Although that part is more believable than the first part its still hard to believe. If you add it make sure to include references. Ratberta 05:43, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Dubious template[edit]

Is there any credible source that makes a claim even remotely like this one? Common sense(no common enough to not be OR) dictates that China could respond however it felt like responding. This statement seriously needs a citation. 152.1.147.78 02:01, 24 March 2007 (UTC)(user:ikanreed not logged in)

Probably in a country of a billion people, there are a few people who believe this bizarre logic. But to follow the conventions for 9/11 and JFK if it really notable it should have it own "NATO Bombing conspiracies" article. This article is about what happened and we can have some other article about what people (who have zero proof) think happened. --MarsRover 04:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The whole article needs a rewrite[edit]

--JanusKN 15:53, 2 July 2007 (UTC) Chinese nationalists should not be writing US history - of violence.

It's ironic Susan Shirk's explanation is much much longer than the reaction of the Chinese public. It feels like even when the people killed were Chinese and the section is called "Chinese reaction," it is still focused on how one American sees this tragedy, or more accurately, accuses the public of being brainless robots manipulated by the evil commies. Very nice.--wooddoo ]] [[User_talk:Wooddoo-eng|Eppur si muove (talk) 19:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Assuming it's the same Dr Susan Shirk who travelled with Under Secretary of State Pickering's delegation to deliver the official State Department account of events in Beijing in June 1999, her remarks should not be included in this article without appropriate contextual information. Dr. Susan Shirk was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, a member of the administration at the time.Dduff442 (talk) 04:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories in the lead[edit]

The lead paragraph is now 153 words long, of which 37, nearly a quarter of the lead, are devoted to what can most generously be described as speculation, and at worst is a conspiracy theory on par with 9/11 conspiracy theories. The article already has a section for conspiracy theories, and the information currently in the lead should be moved there, after being summarized breifly in the lead. As it currently stands, it violates WP:UNDUE to devote that much of the lead to a story which names no sources and is corrobarated by no other mainstrem media sources. Isarig (talk) 22:34, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The information itself is not speculation, although the details may be reported in a too-wordy fashion. Currently the text says

NATO later apologized for the bombing, saying that it occurred because of an outdated map provided by the CIA. This was challenged by a joint report from The Observer (UK) and Politiken (Denmark) newspapers,[2] which claimed that NATO intentionally bombed the embassy because it was being used as a relay station for Yugoslav army radio signals. CIA director George Tenet claimed the operation which led to the bombing of the Chinese embassy was the only one organized and directed by his agency.

The 37 words, I'm guessing, are the "This was challenged..." sentence. At the same time we're giving no space to Chinese reactions - did they claim it was deliberate? How about

NATO later apologized for the bombing, saying that it occurred because of an outdated map provided by the CIA. Few Chinese accepted this explanation, believing the strike had been deliberate.[1] One subsequent media report supported this view,[2] but this was disputed by other sources.[3] CIA director George Tenet said the operation which led to the bombing of the Chinese embassy was the only one organized and directed by his agency.

1 can be this paper from The China Journal hosted @ JSTOR, 2 would be the report linked already, and 3 could be this NYT piece which said the bombing resulted from "a bizarre chain of missteps" (i think it's a source in here already.)
Like it as not, the controversy, speculation, and conspiracy theories were the main focus of reportage on the event, once the bare facts were known. We'd be remiss in downplaying them simply because we judge that there was nothing to them - that's out of line with NPOV and NOR. <eleland/talkedits> 19:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with your suggested change. Isarig (talk) 19:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh, so now a tactical airstrike on a foreign embassy is a conspiracy theory. You sure are smart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.207.114.42 (talk) 09:55, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

'The article already has a section for conspiracy theories, and the information currently in the lead should be moved there, after being summarized briefly in the lead.':Where exactly is the section detailing versions of what occurred that do not coincide with the official stories of one government or another? I do see a brief mention of Amnesty international. I see no mention of the reasons suggested that the US might want to bomb the Chinese embassy other than a brief mention of housing communications..... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.185.104.164 (talk) 21:19, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Shirk section[edit]

I've returned the paragraphs on Susan Shirk's comments on the situation. Her views are a valid outside analysis of the reaction in China. The paragraphs do not say this is what was actually going on in the minds of the Chinese leadership. They are merely her opinions, but the material adds to the reader's understanding of the event. Dchall1 (talk) 18:11, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Liao, I removed that last paragraph about the suppression of US media. I didn't see anything in your source that said that; that article only discusses why US media did not follow up on reports that the bombing was intentional. It's WP:OR and WP:SYN to assert that this implies a conspiracy. If I've missed something in that article, please let me know. Dchall1 (talk) 19:08, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Response to Herunar: Your changes to the article actually introduced POV. The majority of reliable sources indicate that the bombing was accidental. Material from globalresearch.ca is not considered a reliable source - it can be cited to show that people believe the bombing was intentional, but it does not carry nearly as much weight as the Observer. Certainly your characterization that "nearly all" international media doubt the American explanation is incorrect. I don't see what's wrong with titling the section "US Response". It's certainly not a "theory" - it's what the government publicly said. Finally, I don't see any evidence that Shirk's notability or credibility are questioned - she's quoted on a reliable website, discussing her role and analysis of the situation. // Chris (complaints)(contribs) 18:56, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually, no. The majority of reliable sources indicate that NATO claims that the bombing was accidental, but they do not independently confirm this. I agree with your version of the article however, except that I think that using the phrase "conspiracy theories" is also OR and should be removed. Nikola (talk) 20:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't like Conspiracy Theories either, but I can't think of anything else. I've put in "Alternative Views, but please change it if you have a better suggestions. // Chris (complaints)(contribs) 21:26, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the shirk section as it introduces bias into the article, if the views of many Chinese at the time can be construed as "conspiracy theories" and deleted. Then the opinions of one US official and her theories of how she thinks what goes on inside the mind of Jiang Zemin should not be included. As this is merely an "opinion" and she does not know if this is in fact the case. If you want to include an opinion such as this, I think its only fair to present the other side of the argument as well. - Just.James talk 16:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC))
Assuming it's the same Dr Susan Shirk who travelled with Under Secretary of State Pickering's delegation to deliver the official State Department account of events in Beijing in June 1999, her remarks should not be included in this article without appropriate contextual information. Dr. Susan Shirk was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, a member of the contemporary administration.Dduff442 (talk) 04:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Can we expand this?[edit]

It seems like a very short article. --John (talk) 04:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

A photo of the US Consulate General in HK afterward, but not of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade?[edit]

It just seem mildly disingenuous to me. Anyways, I was in Belgrade over the weekend and took three photos of the Embassy. Even though it has been almost 10 years the building is still in shambles.

With a bit of encouragement, I'd be glad to post one the photo to wikipedia...to this somewhat charged topic. (Hint, hint.)

My Serbian mate who took me on a little tour told me things that are not in the page. I'm going to research and edit if I can back them up. (Three Tomahawks, one of which did not go off. US experts came in years later to defuse. Hersey for the moment.) Stuinzuri (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

The picture does not show the former Chinese embassy which was located in Novi Beograd while the destroyed building on the picture is next to the train station. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.116.163.212 (talk) 09:44, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

^ what he said.

This is a picture of the chinese embassy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.216.184.67 (talk) 14:28, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The photo shows building of Yugoslav Army headquarters, also destroyed in the bombing. Remove it from here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.65.194.11 (talk) 21:36, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, I have replaced that incorrect photograph from another wikipedian with the picture I took. All should be good now. --Stuinzuri (talk) 19:31, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Re-Naming of Article[edit]

The Kosovo air campaign was directed from NATO HQ in Brussels, but this was not the case with the embassy strike. I'm not clear if the strike was authorised by NATO political leaders. Some sources say yes, others that the strike was authorised under a different track requiring only US authorisation. At any rate, either Bill Clinton or Bill Clinton plus Javier Solana plus the other NATO heads of government signed off on an attack on 'Belgrade Warehouse 1,' not a strike on the sovereign territory of China.

NATO was therefore not involved in the attack planning in any meaningful way -- it was planned by the CIA and executed by the USAF. For this reason I propose re-naming the article 'US Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade'. Those in favour or opposed are invited to state their reasons so that consensus may be reached on this issue.Dduff442 (talk) 08:57, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Done now. Dduff442 (talk) 18:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Media Coverage[edit]

The 'International Reaction' section states "Other sources, notably American media such as the Washington Post, New York Times and Chicago Tribune maintained that while culpability rested with inaccurate strike planning, the attack was not deliberate."

The Myers/NY Times reference cited does not support this remark. It reports the remarks of various officials both named and anonymous, but the journalist does not editorialise personally. I am unaware of any articles in the listed papers published subsequent to the Observer/Politiken investigation where they categorically employed an editorial line in favour of the accident explanation.

The tone of these papers' coverage may seem to justify the remark, but this is vague and too much a matter of opinion to my taste. The only one I've encountered is a Robert Gates article in the Washington Post, but obviously Gates was allocated column-inches on the basis of his notability in the intel field. He was never a Washington Post correspondent and his opinions are his own.

The foreign editor of the NY Times did write (in a letter, not in the paper) that his journists had found no corroborating evidence for the Observer/Politiken expose, but again a private communication is not the same as the editorial line. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is unclear what steps, if any, the NY Times took to corroborate the story and the lead reporters on the Politiken/Observer story have stated that the NY Times never even contacted them. (see http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1756)

The Observer/Guardian and Politiken stated categorically in the editorial voice that the attack was deliberate. I'd like to see similar remarks sourced in US media in support of the sentence quoted above.Dduff442 (talk) 12:33, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Barring objections, I'm going to delete the "Other sources, notably ..." section in accordance with the following rationale:
1) Intention to replace material with the Washington Post and Salon (already partly in) articles of William Arkin, the only US journalist to attempt a rebuttal.
2) Add material about criticism of US media coverage and the exchange of letters between the NY Times foreign desk and FAIR letter-writers.
3) Add criticism leveled at US media failure to cover Observer/Politiken investigation in its own right. This is a critical point. The story was picked up by wire services and covered by Newspapers globally. The very existence of such an investigation was newsworthy on its own merit, irrespective of the validity of its findings.
4) Big Expansion of Observer/Politiken investigation, plus more on Arkin criticism.
5) Cite given doesn't support claim made. Myers reports various named and anonymous officials remarks without editorialising.
6) US Media ignored Observer/Politiken investigation, they didn't disagree with it (except for Arkin)
Ultimately, when ready, note on Observer/Politiken stories will be moved to lead. Rationale:
1)Not all news stories are of equal significance. 'Government tells truth' is no more news than the classic 'Small Earthquake in Chile: Not many hurt.' That the Observer/Politiken investigation was reported globally is itself evidence of this. This story was a story in itself.
2) Equally, not all anonymity is equal. The 'Senior Officials' briefing journalists in the wake of the incident were carrying out normal departmental business, only anonymously. Those who spoke to the Observer/Politiken were doing the opposite and publicity would have meant the end of their careers. I'm sure it's not difficult to understand the difference between a whistleblower's anonymity and that of someone carrying out official business as sanctioned by his boss.
I'll be moving ahead with these changes in the coming days, so now's the time to get your objections in.Dduff442 (talk) 06:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

State Sanctioned vs State Orchestrated Demos in China[edit]

If decided to delete the following statement: "China, as well as some Westerners described the demonstrations as real rather than state-orchestrated."

The statement, written by myself, was a paraphrasal of an earlier statement already on the page before I started making edits.

The following paragraph contains a fairly detailed description of the demos: spontaneous but state-sanctioned eruptions that the Chinese government attempted to control by means that would be considered unacceptable in any democratic country.

In the light of the info above, which is much more revealing, I consider the 'state orchestrated' remark redundant.

It is correct that some western pundits described the demos as 'state orchestrated' but there are any number of first-hand reports that say otherwise. It is noteworthy the demos broke out almost immediately news of the attack broke. As the study referenced states, the Chinese govt had every reason to fearful of public demonstrations: the demonstrators might turn their anger on their own leaders at any moment if they were dissatisfied with its handling of affairs and an outpouring of patriotic emotion might easily slip out of their control.

If anyone objects to this, we can put the 'state orchestrated' remark back in and go toe-to-toe on the evidence. IMO, the only result will be to clog the article with a side-issue.Dduff442 (talk) 03:46, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Confusing distance information[edit]

The article says: "[...] but the geographic coordinates provided by the CIA and programmed into the bombs were those of the Chinese embassy 440m (480yds) away".

440m away from what? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.226.102.133 (talk) 01:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

440m away from the official target Nato's political leaders signed off on -- the Yugoimport office ("warehouse") at Bulevar Umetnosti 2. Dduff442 (talk) 05:25, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

More needed on Stealth bomber angle[edit]

At the time of the incident I heard that it was done to destroy pieces of a Stealth bomber in the basement—considering the Chinese government recently announced they had built a copycat version perhaps this angle should be investigated more thoroughly? Historian932 (talk) 18:40, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Guardian Article[edit]

I think the Guardian Article should be taken much more seriously than the official NATO version. The New York Times didn't run the story because the sources clammed up after the Guardian published. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/oct/17/balkans

Their track record is also excellent:

  1. Broke the stories on the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs, Afghanistan War Logs, Embassy Cables etc. And this time around, they knew to get the NYTimes on board from the start.
  2. Even in 1995, they managed to get a British cabinet minister jailed for perjury
  3. Relentlessly drove the News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch) phone-hacking scandal in 2009 to the present day. This resulted in Parliamentary hearings in the UK, and it looks like there will be congressional/senate hearings as well.
  4. Broke the story of "super-injunctions" taken out against the British Press

About the distance between reported target and the embassy[edit]

The address of the building actually struck is given in the article, as is the name of the building. The PRC embassy is likewise named on any map of Belgrade.

Wikipedia:Common knowledge states that "geographic pieces of information easily verified by a nonspecialized map" do not need citations.Dduff442 (talk) 08:55, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

Why not? This infobox is useful and informative, and its not wrong. --WhiteWriterspeaks 19:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

On Purpose?[edit]

I remember when this happened, and I never believed it was an accident. Are there any credible sources that theorize that it might have been intentional, and with any explanation as to why? Were the Chinese doing something that the US didn't like?Jonny Quick (talk) 09:23, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

One theory was that wreckage of a shot-down B-2 Stealth bomber was stored there (a Serbian farmer later claimed to have found the wreckage and sold it, and China released their version of a stealth plane a few years ago [that was the story I heard *at the time*, which makes me believe it]).108.55.71.86 (talk) 21:16, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

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