America First


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I’m often being asked whether life in China is returning to normal and, not being able to jump on a plane to find out myself, I have to rely on news reports and friends on the ground to keep me updated.

The New York Times paints a very positive picture: “In Shanghai, restaurants and bars in many neighborhoods are teeming with crowds. In Beijing, thousands of students are heading back to campus for the fall semester. In Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged eight months ago, water parks and night markets are packed elbow to elbow, buzzing like before.”

In terms of numbers, the NYT draws the obvious comparison with the US: “on Sunday, China reported no new locally transmitted cases for the seventh consecutive day. The 12 new infections it reported were all imported, bringing China’s total number of confirmed cases to 84,951, with at least 4,634 deaths. In the United States, nearly 5.7 million people have been infected and at least 176,200 have died”.

Despite the ongoing political rumblings, it seems that American companies are ready to start returning to China to do business again. The American Chamber of Commerce in China has announced that they are “working to arrange a charter flight from the US for both foreign and Chinese employees of our member companies who are seeking to return to China. With the support of local governments and relevant Chinese ministries, our first charter flight will depart from San Francisco on September 12 and arrive directly in Beijing”.

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A charter flight sounds like a good idea. Any takers?


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