More than two-thirds of the new airports under construction today are being built in China. Chinese airlines expect to triple their fleet size over the next decade and will account for the fastest-growing market for Boeing and Airbus. But the Chinese are determined to be more than customers. In 2011, China announced its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, which included the commitment to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars to jump-start its aerospace industry. Its goal is to produce the Boeings and Airbuses of the future. Toward that end, it acquired two American companies: Cirrus Aviation, maker of the world’s most popular small propeller plane, and Teledyne Continental, which produces the engines for Cirrus and other small aircraft.
In China Airborne, James Fallows documents, for the first time, the extraordinary scale of this project and explains why it is a crucial test case for China’s hopes for modernization and innovation in other industries. He makes clear how it stands to catalyze the nation’s hyper-growth and hyper- urbanization, revolutionizing China in ways analogous to the building of America’s transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century. Fallows chronicles life in the city of Xi’an, home to more than 250,000 aerospace engineers and assembly workers, and introduces us to some of the hucksters, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who seek to benefit from China’s pursuit of aerospace supremacy. He concludes by examining what this latest demonstration of Chinese ambition means for the United States and the rest of the world—and the right ways to understand it.
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Whether readers have an interest in aviation or China’s role in the global economy, Fallows’s book makes for an intriguing read, looking at both sides of the picture: reasons for why China might succeed, as well as those for why the country might struggle.Read Full Review of China Airborne | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
What sets "China Airborne" apart from other books on China's rise is Fallows' remarkable ability to analyze both China's unprecedented achievements in economic modernization and its inherent limitations.Read Full Review of China Airborne
Fallows...argues convincingly that the surest test of such an ambition can be found in the complex business of designing, building and flying airplanes.Read Full Review of China Airborne
Mr. Fallows has an earthy, engaging style, and he sees the human stories of government officials, entrepreneurs, workers and intellectuals all pursuing the dreams they have for themselves and their country as they take off together into the skies.Read Full Review of China Airborne
His research is well documented, and his publisher has provided a good index. This is the work of a superior craftsman in all respects.Read Full Review of China Airborne
Fallows has spent years in the far East, and reports as a master...Read this book to understand that the sleeping giant, China, is awakening.Read Full Review of China Airborne
China Airborne is fun to read and well written...Great stuff.Read Full Review of China Airborne
It is a timely look at a country in a newly dangerous economic and political situation. Understanding that situation is of utmost importance to the rest of the world.Read Full Review of China Airborne
Leave it to James Fallows to take a subject to which I am indifferent (if not downright hostile) and turn it into a story of suspense and adventure, human and technological, and to delight me with every page.Read Full Review of China Airborne
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