are concerned that China is buying every American airplane company in sight, but as airshow star Michael Goulian pointed out to me minutes after I left the China chalet, general aviation needs Chinese money to survive.
China’s participation in EAA AirVenture this year was largely under-reported. They rented one of the $40,000 chalets on the flight line where they briefed American officials and reporters on what their country is doing to improve general aviation and other infrastructure. I made a visit, although I could not attend the briefing, and found a nice group of people eager to learn and to explain their culture. Serving as guide to Chinese officials was Francis Chao, managing director and publisher of China Civil Aviation Report who also operates a “virtual office” in California that informs American businesses about China. Both of his efforts are located in Pittsburg, California (which explains the spelling of the city name). Chao seems to get it–he understands both the American and China perspectives, and was a great supporter of the China visit to Oshkosh. Chinese officials at first wondered why they needed to go to Oshkosh when so many U.S. aviation companies are already traveling to China to seek new markets and joint ventures. Chao felt that Chinese officials needed to see Oshkosh where new, old, and future aerospace are all in one place–and in perspective. Many Americans