China clips U.S. plane in ‘electronic ambush’
April 6, 2001 – Sixteen years ago, it wasn’t British military personnel captured by Iranians dominating the front page – it was the “well-laid electronic ambush” of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane clipped by a Chinese fighter and forced to land at a Chinese electronic-surveillance airbase.
An intelligence report cited Chinese sources who indicated the capture of the prized aircraft and its crew was payback.
“The operation – in addition to netting Beijing a sensational intelligence technology scoop – satisfied a thirst for vengeance” over a series of U.S. “affronts,” the report said. “China … chose its moment for exacting retribution for what it regarded as a series of American affronts, some dating from Bill Clinton’s day.”