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Chinese fighter pilot lost at sea, presumed dead, after his F-8 (aka Jianjiji-8, or J-8, not to be confused with a U.S. F-8) jet was destroyed in a mid-air collision with an American EP-3E ARIES II signals intelligence plane on April 1, 2001. The collision damaged the nose and left outer propeller of the American plane, forcing it to make an emergency landing on a Chinese air base on Hainan Island, where the plane and crew of 24 were held for 11 days while the Chinese government demanded a full apology from the United States government. His wife, Ruan Guoqin, sent a letter to the President accusing him of being a coward for not apologizing. On April 11, 2001, the United States released a letter giving something the Chinese government could interpret as an apology, allowing the U.S. air crew to return home.

b. 699 - d. 759 A Chinese poet, artist, and musician who worked for the royal court during the Tang dynasty. He is well-known for his landscapes, as well as the quatrains that went along with them. After his wife passed away, he retired from the court to spend the rest of his days in a Buddhist monastery. His poems were originally written in Chinese, (naturally) but the poetic thoughts can still be captured in English:

Among the mountains we bade each other farewell;
The sun sank as I closed the wicket gate.
Grass will be green again another spring
But will my prince of friends return or no?

"Farewell"

(thought I'd stick something in that complemented the other wu on this node)

Further to dinkybug's WU:

It appears that Wang Wei has now been declared a "Revolutionary Martyr" by China, according today's report in the Britain's Electronic Telegraph. Apparently, this honour is the highest which can be conferred upon a person who died serving their country, and is somehat akin to a Communist sainthood. This, on the same day that the Pentagon finally released videotape clearly showing him flying dangerously close to US aircraft, holding a piece of paper with his email address written on it up to the plexiglass of his cockpit. I guess this makes him the first saint with an email address.

I just loved the next bit:

If previous martyrs are a guide, state media may now "discover" stories of the young Wang secretly sharing his food with elderly neighbours, digging wells during his time off, or vowing as a toddler to devote his life to the reunification of the Motherland. Army recruits, navy pilots and students will be urged to "learn from Wang Wei"

I guess his influence will extend to the training of future airline pilots too - definitely something to think about when tempted by those discount Air China tickets.

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