No protest from China over bugs on Jiang jet plane

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The Independent Online

China remained silent yesterday on the discovery of what appeared to be an audacious American plot to eavesdrop on the Chinese President's pillow talk, and record what he sang in the shower.

When Jiang Zemin's presidential plane, a Boeing, arrived in September last year, ready to fly Mr Jiang to meet President George Bush in Shanghai the following month, bug-sweepers found that the US$10m (£7m) refurbishment included 27 satellite-operated listening devices. There was one in the headboard of the presidential bed, and another in his bathroom. The plane, never used, now lies idle at an airstrip north of Beijing.

In the past, China has been quick to condemn American espionage, and its public silence suggests it does not want the incident to damage relations with the United States.

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, said the "so-called matter" would not hurt Mr Bush's visit to China next month. "In my discussions with Chinese leaders, this has never been raised," he said.