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U.S.-Chinese Officials Had "Business-Like" Meeting

White House Report: Second US-China Surveillance Plane Meeting (Officials had more "business-like" meeting April 19)

U.S.-Chinese Officials Had "Business-Like" Meeting April 19

U.S. and Chinese officials held a 90-minute meeting April 19 in Beijing on the April 1 collision between a U.S. surveillance plane and a Chinese military jet over the South China Sea, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters at his early morning meeting with them.

It was the second such US-China meeting in two days.

"Unlike the previous meeting, we were able to complete the agenda ... which included discussions about the return of the (U.S.) airplane," Fleischer said.

However, he added, Beijing has made no commitment to return the plane.

Fleischer characterized the meeting as "business-like."

The purpose of the meeting, he said, "was for us to make our case and the Chinese to make theirs."

The U.S. position, he said, "is unchanged."

"The discussions will continue," he said, "and that's where the matter stands."

Asked if President Bush is optimistic that the U.S. plane will come back to American soil, Fleischer said: "The position of the United State is that the plane should come back -- I am not going to categorize it as optimistic or pessimistic."

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