Bush's Big Test: Saving Face

Two planes collide, two Presidents bark and then dial back the rhetoric. Some lessons about Bush's reflexes, Jiang's rule and the return of a rivalry

Everyone had a job to do onboard the dying Navy reconnaissance plane when it began to fall out of the sky. The two pilots up front were trying to save the aircraft, while the other 22 crew members in back were trying to destroy what was inside it. Two Chinese F-8 fighters had been tracking the plane closely, too closely, for 10 minutes. The U.S. flyers even recognized one of the pilots, Wang Wei, a notorious hotdogger who one time flew so close to an American plane that he could be seen holding up his e-mail address on a piece of...

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