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CIA Disciplines Seven Employees for Their Roles in Bombing of Chinese Embassy; China Demands Broader Investigation

Aired April 10, 2000 - 2:36 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And now to other news, Lou: China says the United States still has not done enough to make amends. Over the weekend, the CIA revealed it had disciplined seven employees for the mistakes that led the U.S. to bomb the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. That incident during NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia soured relations between Beijing and Washington.

CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon is in Beijing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REBECCA MACKINNON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eleven months ago, Chinese crowds outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing vented their rage after U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, leaving three Chinese dead and 20 wounded. Now that the Central Intelligence Agency has fired one employee and punished six others for their roles in mistakes which led to the bombing, Beijing says that's not enough.

ZHU BANGZAO, FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: The Chinese government strongly demands that the U.S. government conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation into its bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, bring the perpetrators to justice, and give the Chinese government and people a satisfactory explanation.

MACKINNON: Despite U.S. compensation payments totaling over $30 million and despite the report delivered last summer by U.S. envoy Thomas Pickering explaining how the bombing was a mistake caused by the use of outdated maps, Beijing insists there must be more to the story.

JIA QINGGUO, PEKING UNIVERSITY: I think most people would believe that it's a conspiracy, but not necessarily at the level of the federal government, I mean, like a White House conspiracy. Rather maybe a sort of conspiracy at the bureaucracy level.

MACKINNON: The outrage of last May has subsided over time, but many ordinary Chinese say their feelings about the U.S. are still colored by what happened.

"Even a primary student can see through their lies," says this taxi driver. This man says the punished CIA employees ought to be tried for war crimes in the International Court of Justice. "I don't know what should be done," says this shopkeeper, "but they haven't calmed the anger we still feel in our hearts."

(on camera): While it still simmers, Chinese leaders are expected to keep that anger about what happened last year on the back- burner. The front-burner is too full of pressing issues for the future, like the U.S.-China trade relationship and tensions with Taiwan.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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