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#China allows flights from US after pressure from Trump administration

China allows flights from US after pressure from Trump administration

June 4, 2020 | 1:53pm

China on Thursday said it will let American airlines resume flights to the mainland after the Trump administration moved to bar Chinese carriers from entering the US.

Some 95 foreign airlines that are currently banned from flying to China will be allowed a single flight per week into one city starting Monday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

Airlines will be able to run two flights to China if they go three straight weeks without any passengers testing positive for COVID-19, Beijing regulators said. Their service will be suspended for a week if at least five passengers have the virus and for four weeks if at least 10 passengers test positive, according to officials.

The move came a day after the US Department of Transportation said it would ban Chinese passenger carriers from flying in and out of the US in an effort to punish China for shutting American airlines out of the country.

In late March, Chinese regulators told foreign airlines they could only run one flight a week based on schedules they were using on March 12. That effectively banned US carriers from entering the country because they had already halted flights to China by that date, according to the feds.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Beijing officials “deeply regret” Washington’s decision and that they would submit “stern representations” to their US counterparts. The Department of Transportation has said it would reconsider the looming ban if China changed its policies affecting American airlines.

“We hope the US will not create obstacles for resolving this issue,” Zhao said at a news conference, according to a transcript the foreign ministry released.

The airline spat comes amid growing tensions between the US and China over the Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its recent crackdown on Hong Kong’s autonomy. President Trump last week moved end the US’ special treatment for Hong Kong after China passed a national-security law targeting the territory.

With Post wires

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