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China Daily Global / 2020-09 / 16 / Page007

Chartered flight from California welcomed as business spur

By May Zhou in Houston | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-09-16 00:00

The arrival in Beijing of a chartered flight from the United States on Sunday-the first such flight since coronavirus travel restrictions began in March-has been welcomed on the business front.

Some 87 business executives and their families were aboard the flight from San Francisco in California. It had been organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

The business chamber, also known as AmCham China, said it had worked for months on the arrangement to get the executives and their families back to China for business operations.

The plane, which left San Francisco on Saturday, stopped in Tokyo before reaching Beijing on Sunday afternoon. The passengers, who ranged in age from newborns to 81, were either AmCham China members or their extended families. They took a group photo at the boarding gate before taking off.

"We are thrilled to support so many members' journey back to China, so that they can resume their work and lives here," said AmCham China President Alan Beebe. "We are also proud that the Beijing government chose our flight as the first charter to fly directly into the capital."

AmCham China had first surveyed members to find out where most of them were located and then negotiated with the Beijing government, which approved the chartered flight at the end of August.

After completing health checks and passing through customs, the passengers were transported in seven buses with a police escort to a designated hotel in Beijing, where they are spending two weeks in quarantine. The Beijing government said all the passengers tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

AmCham says it has on its books 4,000 executives from 900 US companies that operate in China.

Most of the US companies in China remained profitable last year despite the trade frictions between Beijing and Washington. They are committed to staying in a market that is too big to fail, a survey conducted by AmCham shows.

About 92 percent of the 346 companies polled by AmCham in Shanghai said they will remain in the Chinese market, according to the China Business Report 2020, which was released last week together with consultancy PwC.

On the broader business front between the two countries, AmCham China said it is dedicated to improving the business environment in China, promoting constructive and sustainable US-China economic relations, and helping US companies succeed in China.


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