Okay, I know I'm a bit late joining this thread, but I gotta put in my 2c.
Frankly this whole incident scares me. Two nuclear powers getting very very angry at each-other. Yeah that makes me feel comfortable! It is like a game of "chicken" - who'll back off first? If neither side gives way they end up crashing into each-other.
Who was at fault? In my opinion the Chinese aircraft was 100% to blame. That BBC report mentioned something about 400m between the aircraft. In this incident they would have been a hell of a lot closer than that. As for the EP3 "suddenly" turning. That is just total BS. On an aircraft that size, nothing happens suddenly. They have a huge amount of momentum to overcome to get the aircraft to turn. It's like someone on a bike making a "sudden" turn at 300kph. Not happening.
The apology: both sides are claiming victory here because of a difference of translation. In english it reads "we are sorry that it happened" but it does not infer any responsibility. When translated into Chinese the word that was used DID infer that the Americans were taking responsibility for the mid air collision. Hence the Chinese are treating it as a victory.
anyway I gotta go!