Paulson’s Airline Deal Kills Open Skies

In the Hutong
Listening to the sound of mosquitos
2131 hrs.

About six weeks ago the U.S. Secretary of Transportation showed up in China suggesting that an open skies agreement between the U.S. and China would happen by year end.

We said then – and say now – that hoping for open skies with China in the foreseeable future is at best an existential exercise, and at worst it is self-delusion.

Wu Yi’s trip to the US to talk to her old pal Hank Paulson, while producing precious little, did manage to land an agreement to significantly increase the number of flights between the U.S. and China over the next year or so.

What nobody has caught yet is that this basically ends the whole open skies idea. It’s dead, folks.

Before you don the sackcloth, though, recognize that what Paulson and Wu agreed upon is actually all we can get rightnow. If we had started on SecTrans Mary Peters’ path, we would have been talking our faces blue trying for a home run when all we needed was a single.

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About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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