BEIJING — U.S. technicians were expecting to talk to Chinese officials this weekend about how to transport home a damaged Navy surveillance plane so it can be repaired and flown again, the U.S. Embassy said Friday.
The four technicians arrived in Beijing late Thursday, following a tentative deal announced earlier in the week to dismantle the Whidbey Island-based EP-3E and fly it home aboard a giant Russian-designed cargo aircraft.
Talks with Chinese Foreign Ministry officials this weekend were expected to examine how "to safely and efficiently recover the EP-3 airplane in a reusable condition," said a U.S. Embassy spokesman.
The plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet on April 1 and made an emergency landing at a military air base on China’s southern island of Hainan. It has been sitting there since, and Chinese experts are believed to have removed its sophisticated eavesdropping equipment for study.
The collision and China’s 11-day detention of the plane’s 24 crew members soured relations between Beijing and Washington.
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