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China’s Version of Air Force One: Just a Plain Plane

China’s Version of Air Force One: Just a Plain Plane

The plane used by Chinese President Xi Jinping for his ongoing four-nation visit will, unknown to many, be shared by common passengers after the tour, a senior official has revealed.

Lu Peixin, former chief of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Protocol Department and former Chinese ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia, told regional newspaper the Legal Evening News that China has no specifically designed aircraft exclusive to state leaders, such as Air Force One in the United States, for the purpose of frugality.

Tuesday’s edition of the the Legal Evening News quoted Lu as saying, “Unlike the presidential airplane in the United States, whose interior decoration is luxury hotel style, Chinese leaders’ special plane refitting work is orientated around cost saving.”

Lu called Xi’s Boeing 747-400 a “guest performer” as such planes are refitted occasionally according to state leaders’ itineraries as well as aviation industry rules. Such high-level transport missions are carried out by Air China, a leading domestic commercial airline.

Since the 1980s, jumbo jets have flown national leaders on state visits, making full use of the jets’ bulk size, long flight range and mature technology, said Lu, who has helped arrange state visits for former Chinese leaders including Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.

For the complete story by Liu Ranran of China Radio International, click here.

Updated: March 27, 2013 — 4:43 PM

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