China de-escalates tension with US as it eases flight curbs

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China has lifted its ban on foreign airlines blocked from operating in the country over coronavirus fears, allowing limited flights only a day after the Trump administration threatened a total ban of Chinese carriers.

The US move came after China didn’t respond to requests by US carriers to resume flights to China while Chinese carriers continued to operate limited flights into the US.

The move also comes as tensions between the two countries continued to escalate over a number of issues including Donald Trump’s criticism of China over its handling of the pandemic, restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and moves to impose new laws limiting freedoms in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday the US said it would block Chinese passenger flights from 16 June, threatening yet more hardship on the airline industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) on Thursday said all foreign airlines not listed in the 12 March schedule would now be able to operate one international route into China each week.

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