China has announced a plan to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars on the aerospace industry. Their airlines are expected to triple in fleet size over the next ten years, which means big business for Airbus and Boeing. But the Chinese are looking to the future and want to produce their own airplanes. Their ambitious plan is reminiscent of America’s transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century.
Why are two-thirds of the new airports in the world being built in China? Is this a test for China’s hopes for modernization and innovation in other industries? How will this affect aviation in the United States and the rest of the world? Is China looking to rule the skies?
James Fallows, national correspondent, “The Atlantic”; author, "China Airborne"