"If a delegation appealing to the Chinese directly would help, we'd be willing to do that," Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. "We've done it before, and each time we were successful."
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer on Tuesday evaded questions on whether President Bush wanted Jackson, the leader of the Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, to go to China.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House urged patience Tuesday in the standoff with China, saying "a delicate balance" remains in making progress toward freeing the 24-member U.S. military crew being detained there.
And Pentagon officials revealed more details of how the Navy spy plane came to collide with a Chinese fighter jet, saying the new information bolsters the U.S. argument that the accident was not caused by the American plane.
Rev. Jesse Jackson offers to go to China CHICAGO (AP) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson has offered to go to China to work for the release of 24 U.S. servicemen and women.
President Bush spoke with Army Brig. Gen. Neal Sealock, who met the crew for a fifth time Tuesday, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. Sealock "extended the president's personal greetings to the crew," Fleischer said.
The general, who is the military attache at the embassy in Beijing, told Bush he and the crew discussed the retirement of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, the death of baseball All-Star Willie Stargell and Michael Jordan's possible return to playing basketball.
Fleischer said the president believes progress is being made and urged patience, particularly among conservatives who have stepped up their anti-China rhetoric and have begun to question Bush's handling of the situation.
"It remains a delicate balance," Fleischer said. "The president will continue to pursue the diplomatic openings that have been made. ... Nobody should be ratcheting up the rhetoric. The president (is) setting the tone of patience and a thoughtful approach."
The plane's crew is being held on the Chinese island of Hainan since their surveillance plane made an emergency landing after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet April 1.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.