- LONDON (Reuters) - NATO deliberately
bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade after the Western alliance
the mission was being used to transmit Yugoslav military
a British newspaper reported Sunday.
- 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
Observer quoted an unnamed intelligence officer as
saying ``NATO had
been hunting the radio transmitters in Belgrade,'' including
President Slobodan Milosevic's house, during its air war against
- ``When the president's residence was bombed on 23 April,
signals disappeared for 24 hours,'' said the NATO officer, who monitored
Yugoslav broadcasts from neighboring Macedonia.
- ``When they came back on the
air again, we discovered
they came from the (Chinese) embassy
- The three cruise missiles that slammed into the mission
7 killed three Chinese and opened a diplomatic chasm between NATO
Beijing, which holds one of five permanent seats on the U.N. Security
- Senior U.S. and NATO officials blamed the attack on a
error caused by outdated maps.
- That explanation brought incredulity from Chinese
and the bombing sparked three days of government-backed
the U.S. and British embassies in Beijing.
- The Observer said it
had been told by a NATO flight control
officer in Naples that the
Chinese mission was correctly located on a map
of ``non-targets'' which
included churches, hospitals and embassies.
- It said the Chinese embassy had
been removed from the
list after NATO electronic intelligence detected
it was rebroadcasting
Yugoslav Army communications to units in the
Observer speculated the Chinese might have helped
Milosevic as a means
of gaining access to radar-evading technology aboard
a U.S. F-117
Stealth bomber that went down in Yugoslavia in the first few
NATO's air campaign.
- ``The Chinese were also suspected of monitoring the
missile attacks on Belgrade, with a view to developing effective
against U.S. missiles,'' it said.
- The NATO official in Brussels
said of the Observer story,
written in cooperation with Denmark's
Politiken newspaper, ``as far as
I know is not true.''
- ``I can only go by
the statements that have been made
in Washington,'' he told
spokesman at Britain's Ministry of Defense said the
story was not a new
one after ``wide speculation that it was a conspiracy,
even at the time
of the incident.''
- ``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.''