Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN BREAKING NEWS

China to Release Detainees

Aired April 11, 2001 - 06:41   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JASON CARROLL, CNN ANCHOR: We want to tell you about the breaking news involving the standoff between the United States and China. We are now being told that those U.S. crewmembers, those 24 men and women, will be released.

The details of the release are not yet known, but we can tell you that a press conference is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. We're going to have details from that press conference.

Also, just a short while ago, Linda and I were handed a statement from the Chinese foreign minister. I can read you part of that. He said that "Since the U.S. government has already said 'very sorry' to the Chinese people, the Chinese government has, out of humanitarian considerations, decided to allow the 24 people on the U.S. spy plane to leave China, after completing the necessary procedures."

The foreign minister goes on to say that he received a letter handed to him by the U.S. ambassador to China, at the China's Foreign Ministry. In the letter, the U.S. government said it was very sorry for the incident of a U.S. military reconnaissance plane ramming into and destroying a Chinese military aircraft. And as everyone knows who's been following this story, that word "sorry" has really hinged upon settling this dispute.

LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: That's right.

And just to explain what you were looking at on your screen right there, that was a shot of a Web site. We got this statement off the front page of China's "People's Daily Newspaper." They are covering this, as you can imagine, and of course, we are covering every angle too. We are just starting to get in some reaction to all of this.

CNN's Major Garrett spoke with a White House official and actually told him the news. Word is just getting out, as you can imagine. And the White House official was kind of caught off guard. He said that's very good news.

And of course, it is great news for the family members of those 24 U.S. crewmembers, crewmembers from all over the nation, who have been on Hainan Island, in China, into their 11th day now.

U.S. officials have also been quick to point out that they were getting good treatment, that they were able to receive some e-mails from family, and that they had pretty good food. U.S. officials in China were able to give them some supplies -- shampoo, contact lens solution, things like that -- over the recent days.

But again, there's word they will be coming out soon. We don't know if it will be hours or days. We really don't know how everything will be arranged from here.

We do have a government official telling CNN that, most likely, repatriation will take place in Hawaii. They are, apparently, in the planning stages right now.

And I want to tell you there are press conferences scheduled for 7:00 a.m. Eastern time. That's just about 15 minutes from now. CNN will have complete live coverage of those news conferences. Hopefully, officials will be able to give us more details about this.

CARROLL: Also, the Chinese papers and the Chinese media really sort of got the jump on this. Early this morning before the developments happened, we were discussing the fact that for the first time, the Chinese papers there were reporting that -- and there you see one of the Chinese papers there -- Colin Powell had used the word "sorry" in relation to the fact that that Chinese fighter jet had gone down.

Now, that was an interesting headline there simply because this is the first time these Chinese papers have revealed that. So that may have been some indication that there was, or was going to be, at least, some developments like the developments we saw today.

STOUFFER: U.S. officials had been using the words "regret" and "sorry" speaking about the loss of life of that Chinese fighter pilot.

And just to remind you what happened, that U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane was flying in what the United States says was international airspace, when there was a kind of midair bump with the Chinese fighter jet.

The pilot of that Chinese fighter jet is still missing. There has been a lot of coverage in China about how his wife is handling this. She, actually, had written a letter at one point, and there has been a lot of coverage on that in China and the United States.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top