China said on Thursday foreign airlines blocked from operating in the country over virus fears would be allowed to resume limited flights, apparently deescalating a row with Washington following U.S. plans to ban Chinese carriers.
The latest spat was rooted in the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) deciding to impose a limit on foreign airlines based on their activity as of March 12. Because U.S. carriers had suspended all flights by that date their cap was set at zero, while Chinese carriers’ flights to the U.S. continued.
On Wednesday the U.S. said it would block Chinese passenger flights from June 16, raising concerns of another front being opened up in the economic titans’ standoff.
But the CAAC on Thursday said all foreign airlines not listed in the March 12 schedule would now be able to operate one international route into China each week.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian expressed regret over the U.S. decision, adding that the CAAC is making “solemn representations” over the matter.