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Saturday, May 8, 1999 Published at 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK

World: Europe

The Chinese embassy strike in quotes

Diplomats watch the embassy burn in a state of shock

Kosovo: Special Report
The world reacted fast to the Nato bomb which hit the Chinese embassy in the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade on Friday.

Below is a selection of the most compelling sound bites and quotes from key players commenting on the strike.

Beijing protests

Chinese TV announcer [in Mandarin]: "The Chinese government and people express their utmost indignation"
Soon after reports of the bomb came in, China expressed formal protest and indignation and renewed calls for an end to the Nato action

A government statement read out on Chinese TV severely condemned what it called a "barbaric attack and a gross violation of Chinese sovereignty".

Chinese ambassador to the UN Qin Husan: "We call on Nato to stop ... military actions"
"The Chinese government reserves the right to take further action on the matter," the statement ended.

And the Chinese ambassador to the UN, Qin Huasan, described the bombing as a violation of the UN charter.

Chinese student in Beijing:"The American govenrment should answer for this action"
A day after the attack, hundreds of Chinese students demonstrated outside the American embassy in Beijing.

Some of them in tears, the students explained how they had seen television reports of the destruction of their country's embassy.

Many demanded a full apology for the incident.

Nato admits mistake

Nato's admission was accompanied by a statement from the organisation's Secretary General, Javier Solana.

Nato Secretary General Javier Solana: "Deep regret for the tragic mistake"
He expressed deep regret over the bombing and said that an urgent investigation was under way.

But despite the admission, Mr Solana reitterated the determination of the alliance to continue with the air campaign.

Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon: "There is no way to avoid collateral damage"
At a US Defence Department news briefing, the Pentagon spokesman, Ken Bacon, reiterated the alliance's ongoing commitment to the bombing campaign.

"There's no such thing as clean combat," he said in reference to the attack.

UN meeting

At an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, China again condemned the bombing and accused Nato of carrying out a war crime.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan: "I hope that it will not unduly complicate a solution"
The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was shocked and distressed by the action.

"Obviously the Chinese, who are permanent members of the Security Council, are not pleased with this incident," said Mr Annan.

Arkan: "There is no longer aggression simply against Yugoslav people"
Russia was among the countries to condemn the bombing, while Yugoslavia urged the Council to act finally to bring the fighting to an end.

The United States expressed deep regret for any casualties, and Britain said it was tragic that China had been caught up in the attack.

Serbian outrage

Belgrade-based analyst Aleksa Djilas: "it shows that Nato does not make great efforts when seeking targets"
Zeljko Raznatovic, the indicted Serbian war criminal better known as "Arkan", turned up at the Chinese embassy shortly after it had been hit.

It is believed the embassy was hit in mistake for a building where his paramilitary forces are believed to stay in Belgrade.

He strongly attacked Nato for its "aggression against the Chinese people".

The UN's Shashi Tharoor explains the Secretary General's comments
Belgrade-based political analyst Aleksa Djilas said that the bombing severely damaged Nato's reputation.

"Of all embassies I suppose that - after the Russian embassy - the Chinese is perhaps the one Nato should least like to have hit, " said Mr Djilas.

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