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The challenge of uncorking the China-US travel bottleneck

Chinese student's five-day, four-country odyssey took months to organize

U.S. airlines suspended flights to China in early February as the Covid-19 epidemic intensified in China.    © Reuters

Chinese college graduate Zhang Jie's journey home to Xiamen from Boston took five days and included two stops in Europe. That was after she spent much of April and May just trying to find flights.

Although the trip would have taken roughly 14 hours before the Covid-19 pandemic, Zhang was lucky to reach China at all. Untold thousands of Chinese students, business people and other travelers have found themselves stranded in the U.S. for months amid restrictions intended to limit the spread of disease. China-U.S. aviation disputes have only worsened their situation.

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