Amid escalating trade and travel tensions, the Donald Trump administration on Wednesday moved to block Chinese airlines from flying to the US.
The Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights of four Chinese airlines to and from the United States starting June 16, AP reported.
The decision comes on the backdrop of China not letting United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights this week to the country after operations were suspended earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Transportation Department said that China was violating an agreement between the two countries covering flights by each other’s airlines. The order allows Chinese carriers to operate one flight to the US for each flight that nation grants to American carriers, the agency said.
“The Department will continue to engage our Chinese counterparts so both US and Chinese carriers can fully exercise their bilateral rights,” the agency said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours,” it further said. The department said President Donald Trump might put the order into effect before June 16.
The move is the latest in an escalation of tensions between the two countries following disputes over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and the treatment of Hong Kong.
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