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Thursday, June 07, 2001, updated at 19:47(GMT+8)

China, US Agree on Technical Details Concerning Return of EP-3 Plane

China said on Thursday the long-simmering row over a crippled US spy plane held on Hainan Island was basically over after the two sides agreed on how it should be dismantled and shipped out.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said that China now hoped that relations with Washington, beset by the plane collision incident and other disputes since the new administration of President George W. Bush took office in January, would now get back on track.

"China and the United States have basically solved the matter of the plane, both the crew and the aircraft," he said.

"Yesterday, both sides reached an agreement on the technical issues and now both sides are preparing for the disassembly and transportation of the plane," Sun told a news conference.

"We hope bilateral relations can come back to the normal track," he added, three months after the US EP-3 spy plane was forced to land on a military airport in Hainan Island after a collision with a Chinese fighter.

Sino-US Relations

Sino-US relations could enjoy long-term stable and sound development only when both sides take a positive attitude and conscientiously abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and the basic norms governing international relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said Thursday.

Sun said China has all along attached importance to Sino-US relations, and hopes the relations can be kept on a track of long-term, stable and sound development.

The spokesman said there exist differences between China and the United States, but the two countries also share common interests, and the bilateral ties are reciprocal and mutually beneficial.

A good relationship between China and the United States is of significance to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole, added Sun.

In This Section

China and the United States have reached agreement on the technical details concerning the disassembling and return of the US EP-3 reconnaissance plane, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi disclosed Thursday afternoon at a regular press conference.

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