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08 August 2007



In trying to deliver professional efficiency to impress the world, the aviation authority in Beijing might have taken the lead to violate expert decisions. How ironic!

David, your blog raises a very significant issue far beyond air traffic and deserves to be highlighted. It is the propensity for officials to override professional judgment with political agenda, and the possible (though unintentional) consequences. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were extreme occasions when “experts” were ideologically suspect and often sacrificed on the political altar. Think about the human costs.

One may suggest that after thirty years of reform, China has worked out a new path. But if one looks beyond the hardware of development, the mode of operation and mindset for officials in charge of Beijing Olympics might not be entirely different although the ideological content has changed (it is no longer revolution but global reach and national pride). I fully appreciate Beijing’s commitment to make Olympics (and in broader terms, its economy) a success for its citizens and for the world. I also sincerely hope that it critically reflects on the problematic administrative means and the language of power that drive its efforts. If it does not, what follows after the show?


Do you know why Air China does not have any compensation policy on flight delays? It is because they are committed not to have any delay.

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