Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum A few months into George W. Bush’s presidency, a U.S. Navy spy plane on a surveillance mission near Hainan island collided with a Chinese fighter jet, forcing the American plane to make an emergency landing in mainland China — in turn, kicking off a diplomatic nightmare. Following the crash, President Bush repeatedly tried to call then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin to diffuse the situation. But after around 12 attempts and “several agonizing days,” as Bush describes in his memoir Decision Points, the EP-3 plane and crew were still in Chinese hands. “Before any dialogue [between Bush and Jiang] was established, [the] EP-3 [incident] happened,” says Michael J. Green, who was then in his first week at the National Security Council as director for Asian affairs. “That made it clear that dialogue at the level of the president was incredibly important,“ adds Green, who is now senior vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International StudiSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.