‘Accidentalizing’ a Nationalist Conflict: The Spy Plane Collision Incident (April 2001)

  • Simon Shen


On 1 April 2001, almost two years after the Bombing, an American EP-3 reconnaissance plane (conveniently referred to as a ‘spy plane’) and a Chinese F-8 war plane collided over the South China Sea. The Chinese plane was destroyed and its pilot, Wang Wei, went missing; the American plane was forced to land at Hainan Airport. The body of the pilot was never found. This incident in many ways resembled the Bombing, but whether the exact spot where the aerial incident occurred belonged to China or was in international territory was open to dispute. Unlike the Bombing, which was treated by China as a ‘non-accident’, the Collision was defined by the party-state as an accident. The ‘accidentalization’ constitutes the setting for the second case study and points to the different outcome in this case.


Chinese People Premature Ejaculation Crew Member Ordinary Citizen Bush Administration 
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© Simon Shen 2007

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  • Simon Shen

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