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  Words in the News
  President Bush has written to the wife of the Chinese pilot who, it is believed, died in collision with an American spy plane over a week ago. The White House has described the move as a humanitarian gesture. It came as senior officials in administration warned of harm to US-China relations if the stand off over the spy plane continues. From Washington, Jon Leyne reports.
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US china

9th April 2001

American spy plane: Bush writes


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    President Bush wrote in response to a bitterly critical letter from the wife of the Chinese pilot. The pilot's wife accused the President of cowardice for his refusal to apologise for the incident. The White House has not released details of the President's reply beyond saying it is a humanitarian gesture. So it's not clear whether it has any significance in the intense diplomacy that is continuing behind the scenes.
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bitterly critical: the letter expressed intensely severe judgements against President Bush

cowardice: cowardly behaviour- someone who is cowardly is easily frightened and avoids doing dangerous things

White House: the official residence of the President of the United States

humanitarian: if a person has humanitarian attitudes, they try to avoid making people suffer

significance: the significance of something is its importance or special meaning

intense diplomacy: diplomacy is the management of relations between countries: here, a lot of discussions are happening between China and the United States

NEWS 2    Audio Listen to the second part of the report
    Mr. Schroeder said diplomatically that they would work on other issues around global warming, such as encouraging renewable resources. But he did not hide their disagreement over Kyoto. President Bush has ordered a review of alternatives. In the meantime, though, there is a policy vacuum. This does not seem to worry him. Kyoto joins a growing list of policies in which the administration defines its interests and then accepts arguments, but no real change.
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conciliation: conciliation is the process of ending a disagreement

drag on: if something drags on, it takes longer than seems necessary

service personnel: members of the armed services

advanced: 'advanced' implies a high level of technology

weaponry: weaponry is all the weapons that a country has available to it

bitterly opposed: China would strongly disagree with this

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