October 17, 1999
NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately -UK
Filed at 12:28 a.m. EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in
Belgrade after the Western alliance discovered the mission was
being used to
transmit Yugoslav military communications, a British newspaper
An official at NATO headquarters in Brussels denied the Observer
newspaper's report but it is likely to rekindle diplomatic tensions
on the eve of
a visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to alliance hawk Britain
The Observer quoted an unnamed intelligence officer as saying
been hunting the radio transmitters in Belgrade,'' including one at
Slobodan Milosevic's house, during its air war against Yugoslavia.
``When the president's residence was bombed on 23 April, the
disappeared for 24 hours,'' said the NATO officer, who monitored
broadcasts from neighboring Macedonia.
``When they came back on the air again, we discovered they came
(Chinese) embassy compound.''
The three cruise missiles that slammed into the mission on May 7
Chinese and opened a diplomatic chasm between NATO and Beijing,
holds one of five permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council.
Senior U.S. and NATO officials blamed the attack on a targeting
caused by outdated maps.
That explanation brought incredulity from Chinese leaders and the
sparked three days of government-backed protests against the U.S.
British embassies in Beijing.
The Observer said it had been told by a NATO flight control officer
that the Chinese mission was correctly located on a map of
which included churches, hospitals and embassies.
It said the Chinese embassy had been removed from the list after
electronic intelligence detected it was rebroadcasting Yugoslav
communications to units in the field.
The Observer speculated the Chinese might have helped Milosevic as
means of gaining access to radar-evading technology aboard a U.S.
Stealth bomber that went down in Yugoslavia in the first few days
``The Chinese were also suspected of monitoring the cruise missile
on Belgrade, with a view to developing effective countermeasures
U.S. missiles,'' it said.
The NATO official in Brussels said of the Observer story, written
cooperation with Denmark's Politiken newspaper, ``as far as I know
``I can only go by the statements that have been made in
A spokesman at Britain's Ministry of Defense said the story was not
one after ``wide speculation that it was a conspiracy, even at the
time of the
``Apologies were given by the United Kingdom,'' he told Reuters.
``In light of
the Chinese visit next week, it is clearly muddying the waters. I
think they are
throwing firecrackers in there.''