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Chinese Government's Reply—25Th July

Volume 531: debated on Monday 26 July 1954

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Your Note No. 122 dated 24th July, 1954, has been received with regard to the case involving a British transport aircraft. I am instructed by the Central Peoples' Government to give the following account of the circumstances obtained through investigation, which you are requested to transmit to the British Government. The Chinese people as well as the peoples of the world rejoice at the easing of the international situation through the recent holding of the Geneva Conference and the agreement reached on the question of restoring peace in Indo-China. Meanwhile, however, aircraft of the remnant Chiang Kai-shek bandit gang in Taiwan have enlarged even further the scope of their harassment of the coastal areas and islands of China, including Hainan Island, have dropped secret agents into China and have piratically intercepted and plundered merchant vessels of various nations sailing to China for trade in a desperate attempt to create tension in Asia. Therefore, fighting has frequently taken place over the coastal areas and islands of China.

According to the report received by our military authorities from Hainan Island, on the morning of 23rd July, patrol aircraft of the Peoples' Republic of China, while carrying out patrol duty over Port Yulin on Hainan Island, encountered an aircraft of the Chiang Kai-shek bandit gang over shat locality and fighting took place. Upon receiving this report, the Government of the Peoples' Republic of China undertook an investigation through various channels and only then did it become known that the aircraft involved was actually a British-owned transport aircraft, mistaken by our patrol aircraft for an aircraft of the Kuomintang gang on a mission to raid our military base at Port Yulin. The occurrence of this unfortunate incident was, indeed, entirely accidental.

The Central Peoples' Government of the Peoples' Republic of China expresses its regret at this accidental and unfortunate incident involving the British transport aircraft, and is taking appropriate measures in dealing with it. It extends its sympathy, concern and condolences to the dead and injured in this incident and to their relatives. It is willing to give consideration to the payment of appropriate relief and compensation for the loss of life and property involved.