May 8, 1999, was a sunny Saturday as Jolie and I rode through Beijing on an outing with some students. A paperboy approached our car at a stoplight. The driver paid him through the open window, took the newspaper, folded it, and tucked it down against the door. The other students made no comment as we continued our outing.

It was only after we’d arrived back at the college that our administrator greeted us with the news: “America just bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.”

The previous Friday night, five guided U.S. bombs, under the direction of NATO, had destroyed the Chinese embassy and killed three Chinese journalists. American spokesmen said it was a mistake, and President Bill Clinton apologized. Later — much later — evidence suggested that faulty GPS software had misidentified the target.