“Chinese carriers are currently flying four round-trip flights to the United States weekly.”
President Donald Trump’s administration plans to ban Chinese airlines from flying into the United States starting later this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced.
The decision comes after Beijing refused to allow U.S. air carriers to resume services to mainland China. The U.S. restrictions, set to come to start on June 16, will apply to state-owned Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines.
“Air China, China Eastern and China Southern have all maintained scheduled passenger service to New York City area airports, among other US flights,” the newspaper South China Morning Post confirmed.
Currently, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines run cargo flights to China but are not allowed by Beijing to resume passenger services this month. China’s stance violates the bilateral air transport agreement, the Department of Transportation said.
To curb the spread of Wuhan coronavirus, the Trump administration barred the entry of non-U.S. nationals who had recently been to China on January 21. At that time, President Trump was attacked by the leading Democrats and the mainstream media for going after China.
The Reuters news agency reported President Trump’s decision:
President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday barred Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the United States starting on June 16 as it pressures Beijing to let U.S. air carriers resume flights amid simmering tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
The move, announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, penalizes China for failing to comply with an existing agreement on flights between the two countries. U.S.-Chinese relations have soured in recent months amid tensions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s move to impose new national security legislation for Hong Kong.
The order applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co and Hainan Airlines Holding Co, as well as smaller Sichuan Airlines Co and Xiamen Airlines Co. Chinese carriers are currently flying four round-trip flights to the United States weekly.
Delta Air Line and United Airlines have asked to resume flights to China this month, even as Chinese carriers have continued U.S. flights during the pandemic.
Air travel played a crucial role in the global outbreak of the coronavirus, which first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. Beijing cut off flights from Wuhan to the rest of the country by late January but kept on pushing international air travel to and from China.
“You could fly out of Wuhan where the primary problem was … and you could go to different parts of the world, but you couldn’t go [from Wuhan] to Beijing and you couldn’t go to any place in China. So what’s that all about?” President Trump asked on May 3.
This point, based on air travel data, has also been made by others, including noted Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, only to be dismissed by the mainstream media as a conspiracy theory. Then NBC accused the President of advancing a “flawed theory that China nefariously continued to allow flights out of Wuhan.”
The media even went after Trump for pointing out the origins of the Wuhan virus.
“Trump calling coronavirus ‘Chinese virus’ encourages racism,” The Washington Post claimed. The President was “weaponizing bigotry and stereotypes” by “labeling the coronavirus the ‘China virus,'” CNN concluded.
The media and the Democrats attacked President Trump for his China travel ban. The Atlantic, on February 18, slammed “Trump’s Nationalistic Response to the Coronavirus.” The President was stoking “fears that foreigners entering the United States bring disease,” the magazine complained. The Western media coverage was much in line with the official Chinese propaganda. “Misguided travel ban wrong way to respond to coronavirus,” the Communist Party mouthpiece China Daily agreed.
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