Date – 7 May 1999, Place – Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. At 12 o’clock in the night, suddenly the sound of fighter planes started resonating in the sky. After a few seconds, the sound of explosions woke people up in Belgrade. The city’s power was cut as the fighter planes could not find their target from the sky. Fighter aircraft of NATO countries, the world’s most powerful military organization, were bombing the surrounding areas, including Belgrade, since April.
What was the purpose of this bombing?
The purpose of this NATO bombing was to stop President Slobodan Milosevic’s attacks against people of Albanian origin in Kosovo. By the end of the first week of May, the attacks of American fighter planes on Serbia also started intensifying. As soon as a fighter plane was approaching to drop bombs over Belgrade, people were warned by sounding sirens. People also used to hide in strong shelters to protect themselves and their families. The United Nations, Russia and China were strongly against this US-led NATO bombing.
America dropped bombs on the Chinese embassy on the night of 7 May
The fate of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade may have turned sour on the night of 7 May. The embassy diplomats were assuming that they were present in the safest area. Then the B-2 stealth bomber of the US Air Force started bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. The decision to attack the Chinese embassy was part of a well-planned US strategy, as all the targets for the bombing were selected by agents of the US intelligence agency CIA themselves. One of these bombs was also the one that fell on the roof of the Chinese ambassador’s house but it did not explode.
US fighter jets fired 5 bombs at the Chinese embassy
As soon as the American fighter plane fired the first missile, within a few seconds there was a loud explosion in the Chinese embassy. Broken windows, pieces of concrete and wood were visible everywhere. American fighter jets fired five bombs over the Chinese embassy. Within no time the entire embassy was engulfed in flames. The Chinese diplomats present inside somehow started running outside after saving their lives. Altogether 3 people were killed and more than 20 were injured in this attack. China called it an act of war and a barbaric incident.
No one was aware of this act of America
No one expected that America could even think of bombing the Chinese embassy. The attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an attack on China’s sovereignty. China also targeted America fiercely for this attack, but at that time, China did not move ahead of the super power America. The US called it an attack by mistake. Even after so many years of the attack, no such evidence was found to prove that America had deliberately given this attack.
America told the accident, the nearby building was the real target
Within hours of the bombing of the Chinese embassy, NATO and the US clarified it was an accident. On May 8, NATO spokeswoman Jamie Shea apologized for the incident, saying the fighter plane targeted the wrong building. China also claimed a month later that the targets of the bombs dropped on its embassy in Belgrade were GPS-fixed. At the same time, US officials clarified that their target was in fact the headquarters of the Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement (FDSP), located a few hundred meters from the Chinese embassy. This agency used to buy military equipment for Slobodan Milosevic’s army. This building still stands in its old form.
There was also a screw in the wrong map that the CIA blamed
The CIA in its clarification said that this whole matter started because of a wrong map. It was the CIA who told the Chinese embassy to the fighter planes as a target. Two days after the attack, US Defense Secretary William Cohen said that one of our fighter jets selected the wrong target because it had been instructed based on an old map. However, the map cited by William Cohen showed neither the exact location of the Chinese embassy nor the Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement.
No country can think of attacking an embassy
Indeed, neither then nor now can any country dare to attack the embassy of another country. Embassies enjoy diplomatic immunity. Police of any country cannot enter these embassies without permission. Not only this, even if a diplomat of a country is found guilty of a crime, he is not arrested and ordered to leave the country. You must remember the case of Julius Assange of WikiLeaks. He took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to save himself. Assange had become the father of two children during the asylum in the embassy.