The U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia/Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War on May 7th, 1999 is puzzling. Wikipedia notes:
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet testified before a congressional committee that the bombing was the only one in the campaign organized and directed by his agency, and that the CIA had identified the wrong coordinates for a Yugoslav military target on the same street.
Was it just an accident? Perhaps. As they say, maybe the Deep State is really just the Derp State, so giant screwups like blowing up a Great Power’s embassy happen.
But the Chinese have never accepted American explanations that it was all just an accident.
My original conspiracy theory was that the bombing was intentional and that the CIA had blown up the Chinese embassy because the Chinese had purchased from the Serbs the only Stealth Fighter ever shot down in combat (an impressive feat of arms by the undergunned Serbs). Maybe the Serbs sold the wreckage to the Chinese to study for reverse engineering purposes and the Chinese had it stored in their embassy?
Since then I’ve seen people claim that the Chinese and/or Russians got some of the parts. But when I read more detailed accounts, it appears local peasants dismantled much of the wreckage for souvenirs and eventually the Serbs got themselves organized enough to put what was left in a museum. I couldn’t find anything to support my “Stealth Fighter wreckage housed in the Chinese Embassy” theory.
A friend told me a better conspiracy theory about the Chinese Embassy bombing recently. He points to the release three weeks later on May 25, 1999 of the long anticipated but little remembered Cox Commission Report on nuclear spying on the U.S. by China. The Report says:
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has stolen design information on the United States’ most advanced thermonuclear weapons. The Select Committee judges that the PRC’s next generation of thermonuclear weapons, currently under development, will exploit elements of stolen U.S. design information. PRC penetration of our national nuclear weapons laboratories spans at least the past several decades and almost certainly continues today.
By the time, the Cox Report was issued, its moment had passed. Due to the bombing, the U.S. was now on the defensive and everybody was supposed to be nice to China to make up for it. This culminated a year later in Bill Clinton getting Congress to vote for permanent normalized trade relations with China, letting it join the WTO.
The permanent part turned out to be disastrous. American CEO’s had been wary of shutting down factories in the U.S. and committing to permanently outsourcing production to China when the low tariffs weren’t permanent. But when Congress and the President committed to permanent normalization, outsourcing quickly became a flood of manufacturing jobs moving from the U.S. to China.
So, here’s his conspiracy theory: maybe bombing the Chinese Embassy was the CIA’s way to keep pro-China globalism on track despite soon to be released evidence in the Cox Report that the Chinese were not our pals?
This is a little bit of a double bankshot conspiracy theory, but I kind of like it.