On April 11, while concluding his state visit to Uruguay and leaving Montevideo, President Jiang issued the following speech to Chinese reporters from the Xinhua News Agency who were travelling with him:
The US government has handed a letter to China to say "very sorry" for the incident that a US military reconnaissance plane rammed into and destroyed a Chinese plane. Out of humanitarian considerations, the Chinese government has decided to allow the US crew to leave China.
The incident has not fully concluded. It is hoped that the US takes the Chinese position seriously and handle it properly.
I have reiterated on many occasions that to develop China-US relations is in the common interests of both China and the US and vital to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. However, it must be based upon the three China-US Joint Communiqués and basic norms governing international relations so as to properly handle issues between the two countries.