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Wang Wei

Wang Wei (王維 698 - 759), the Poet Buddha, was a Chinese poet, musician and painter.

He specialized in writing quatrains depicting quiet scenes of water and mist. The few surviving paintings attributed to him, drawn in black ink, took on the same subject matter. He is considered the founder of southern Chinese landscape art and the first master of atmosphere. His poems were translated in 1959 by Chang Yin-nan and L. C. Walmsley.

Wang Wei (王偉 1968/1969 - April 1, 2001) was a Chinese pilot whose F-8[?] fighter jet hit the wing of an American EP-3E spyplane about 70 miles off the coast of the Chinese island of Hainan, south of China. Wang ejected from the plane and was lost.

The Chinese claimed the U.S. spyplane rammed Wang's fighter, while the Americans claimed Wang flew dangerously close to the much larger, slower, and less maneuverable spyplane. That day, F-8s approached the EP-3 with less than 10 meters to spare six times, and twice came within three meters before Wang's fighter hit the plane on the 44th intercept. Crew members claimed they had on previous flights seen Wang fly so close that when he held up a piece of paper containing an e-mail address, it was readable. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield later showed a video of an F-8 pilot flying dangerously close and nearly hitting another EP-3E two weeks earlier, saying the pilot may have been Wang.

On April 14, the Chinese ended their search, which covered an area of 83,000 square kilometers, for the 32-year-old pilot, declaring him missing and presumed dead. Later that day, a Navy Committee of the Communist Party of China declared him a martyr.

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