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China Comments on Reported Bugging

January 22, 2002

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BEIJING (AP) _ In China’s first comment on the reported bugging of a U.S.-made jetliner ordered for its president, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that he didn’t ``see any impact″ on U.S.-Chinese relations.

Spokesman Sun Yuxi wouldn’t say whether President Jiang Zemin would bring up the reported bugging when President Bush visits Beijing next month.

Sun said he couldn’t confirm the reports last week by the Washington Post and the Financial Times newspapers that several listening devices had been found on a Boeing 767 jetliner meant for use as China’s new presidential jet.

``I have heard of this thing, but so far I have no knowledge of this. And I don’t see any impact of this event on any other issues,″ Sun said at a regular press briefing.

According to the newspapers, the plane was delivered but never used by Jiang.

Sun insisted that China was a ``peace-loving country″ that was no threat to other nations.

``So it is highly unnecessary to bug China,″ he said.

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