The United States said on Wednesday that China’s decision to cancel flights amid COVID-19 concerns were “inconsistent with its obligations” under an agreement between the two countries.
Some passengers on flights from the U.S. to China have later tested positive for COVID-19, leading China to suspend some incoming flights from the U.S., Reuters reported. Seventy flights have been canceled this year, including six announced on Wednesday, affecting flights over the next few weeks.
Among the impacted flights include four China Southern Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Guangzhou and two United Airlines flights from San Francisco to Shanghai, the news wire noted.
"China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the U.S.-China Air Transport Agreement. We are engaging with the PRC on this and we retain the right to take regulatory measures as appropriate," a Transportation Department spokesperson said in a statement.
Some flights from Canada and France were also suspended by China on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The U.S. itself has had to cancel thousands of flights in recent weeks because of poor weather conditions and a rising number of COVID-19 cases. The U.S. reported more than one million daily COVID-19 cases on Monday.
The Hill has reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., for comment.