Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Journalist Fallows, a national correspondent for the Atlantic, takes us through China's emerging role in the aviation industry its past, and its developing future. Despite its ample historical facts and descriptions, Fallows keeps the reader engaged by weaving personal stories and lively personalities into his depiction of the changing aerospace landscape. He tackles technical facets and political obstacles that China faces as it tries to become an aerospace power, but for Fallows, aviation is just a prime example of larger dynamics in the Chinese economy: 'balance and tension.' All of this coalesces into a picture of China as a country propelling forward, 'addicted to growth.' 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. Agent: Wendy Weil Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has reported from around the world and has worked in software design at Microsoft, as the editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter. He is currently a news analyst for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered and a visiting professor at the University of Sydney.
Table of Contents
1. This Is Going to Be Big 23
2. Getting Off the Ground 45
3. The Men from Boeing 65
4. The Chinese Master Plan 81
5. An Airport in the Wilderness 107
6. An American Dream, Turned Chinese 129
7. China’s Own Boeing 145
8. The Environmental Consequences of Aviation 169
9. The Tensions Inside China 185
10. The Chinese Model, Airborne 228