| On April 1, 2001, Chinese J-8 fighters
intercepted a U.S. Navy VQ1 squadron surveillance aircraft, the EP-3,
in the skies over the South China Sea. A mid-air collision involving
one of the J-8s and the EP-3 sent the Chinese jet into the ocean and
forced the U.S. plane to make an emergency landing in Chinese territory
-- the island of Hainan, just off the southern coast of China.
The 24 crew members of the EP-3 were eventually
returned to the U.S. after being held on Chinese soil for 11 days,
but other issues, including the return of the EP-3 aircraft and whether
China is appropriating its technology, turned out to be stickier.
Revisit this incident through the timeline
and news articles below, and check the Media Center links to keep
abreast of the latest developments involving the U.S. and China. You'll
also find more background on U.S.-China relations over the years.