23:13 GMT11 July 2020
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    The statement comes in response to a report that the US Transportation Department ordered four Chinese airlines to file their schedules by 27 May. The American government has accused Beijing of making it impossible for the US to resume flights to China.

    China opposes all US restrictions introduced against Chinese airlines, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement on Monday.

    Responding to American claims about China's unfair treatment towards US airlines, the spokesman said that Beijing treated all airlines equally and the imposed restrictions are necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

    On Friday, Washington accused the Chinese government of hampering the resumption of US flights to China and ordered Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co, and Hainan Airlines Holding Co to file schedules and other details of flights by 27 May.

    The US-China spat over air traffic comes amid broader tensions between the two countries. President Trump on Thursday announced that the US could completely cut off diplomatic relations with China over the ongoing coronavirus crisis. He earlier claimed that the virus originated in a Chinese lab.

    China has repeatedly denied the allegations and urged Washington to stop shifting the blame to Beijing and focus on domestic affairs instead.

    coronavirus, COVID-19, restrictions, airlines, US
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