BUSH DISCUSSES CHINA SITUATION AT ASNE

By: Todd Shields

President Also Suggests Headlines He’d Like To See


WASHINGTON – President Bush told the American Society of
Newspaper Editors Thursday that he regrets the loss of a Chinese
aircraft and pilot in an encounter with an American
reconnaissance plane. Bush, speaking before some 500 editors and
reporters gathered in Washington at the group’s annual
convention, urged Beijing to quickly return the 24 U.S. crew
members of the spy plane, which landed Sunday on a Chinese island
after a collision with the Chinese fighter.

“I regret that a Chinese pilot is missing and I regret that an
airplane is lost,” Bush said during a brief question-and-answer
session that followed a luncheon speech. His comments repeated
the expression of regret extended earlier by Secretary of State
Colin Powell.

The Chinese have demanded a U.S. apology. Bush declined to
respond to a question asking whether he might issue an apology,
and whether he was reassessing plans to visit China later this
year.

The president’s brief comments about the day’s leading foreign
policy story followed a 12-minute speech in support of his
embattled budget proposal. Bush laced his address with humor.
“Sometimes the Washington filter makes it hard for me to get my
message directly to the people. And since I view you as people,
I’ll go directly to you,” he told the editors.

Offering what he called “constructive criticism,” Bush listed
headlines he’d like to see. They included “Cheney Cloned;
President Has Nothing To Do At All Now” and “2 Million Overlooked
Ballots Suggest Bush Won California.”


Todd Shields (tshields@editorandpublisher.com) is the Washington editor for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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