June 10, 2000 International Tribunal for U.S./NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia
The attack of the Chinese Embassy
By Judi Cheng
Judi Cheng is an International Action Center researcher and youth organizer. She showed how unreasonable it was to believe that the bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an accident. Bombing an embassy is a war crime.
Thirteen months ago, hundreds of thousands of Chinese people took to the streets in China protesting the criminal bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Their fury and anger included the trashing of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. They felt that the direct hit of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, which killed three journalists and wounded many more, by three cruise missiles was not an accident but a deliberate act of mass murder aimed at punishing China for its opposition to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. China and Yugoslavia have enjoyed friendly relations and naturally China must have been considered an "ally of Yugoslavia" by the Pentagon.
The May 7 U.S./NATO attack on the embassy was described by the Clinton administration as an accident based on CIA/Pentagon mapping errors. They asserted that the targeting plans mistakenly used old road maps of downtown Belgrade. Is this believable? Is this even slightly credible?
The British newspaper The Observer, on Sunday, October 19, 1999, reported based on widespread investigation and quoting unnamed senior military and intelligence sources in Europe and in the United States said that NATO did deliberately bomb the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.
What precisely would the job of the Central Intelligence Agency in Belgrade be if not to carry out daily, systematic surveillance of all the embassies, and specifically the Chinese Embassy. U.S. Defense Department officials in fact attended events at the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in recent years. Moreover, The Observer reported that the CIA and other NATO intelligence agencies had routinely monitored communications traffic from the Chinese Embassy since it moved to its current site in 1996.
It is illegal to bomb government embassies, even in the case of the embassy belonging to an enemy in a declared war. In the case of Yugoslavia, the war was undeclared. China was not part of the conflict.
We charge that the Pentagon deliberately and flagrantly violated international law by bombing the embassy of China on May 7, 1999. This brazen act of terrorism was meant to create exactly the feeling that it did create. Namely, the United States wanted China and all governments in the world to know that should they fail to follow the absolute dictates of U.S. policy, they will become the targets of terror and high tech violence. It is part of an aggressive strategy to use military power as the principle method of imposing U.S. hegemony not just on Yugoslavia, but on all those countries that seek to be independent of U.S. imperialism.
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