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Cablegate: Advancing U.S. - Hong Kong Aviation Services

VZCZCXRO2332
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHHK #4122 2910356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180356Z OCT 06
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9090
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9576
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0128
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0935
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 3409
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 4159

UNCLAS HONG KONG 004122

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM
STATE FOR EB/TRA/AN ENGLE
COMMERCE FOR ITA/ALFORD

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON HK
SUBJECT: ADVANCING U.S. - HONG KONG AVIATION SERVICES
AGREEMENT

REF: 2005 HONG KONG 5622

1. On October 12, Acting Deputy Principal Officer
Charbonnet delivered EB/TRA/AN Director Tom EngleQs letter
to Economic Development and Labor Bureau Deputy Secretary
Michael Wong and emphasized that the United States is
interested in advancing the U.S. - Hong Kong civil aviation
relationship. Noting that Wong had assumed the job of Hong
KongQs aviation services head negotiator in August,
Charbonnet indicated that both sides should take a fresh
look at the bilateral aviation relationship and seek ways
to move ahead. Wong responded that he would confer within
his government and with QHong KongQs airlines,Q namely
Cathay Pacific, and reply to Mr. EngleQs letter.

2. Wong also raised the status of the U.S. - Hong Kong
Mutual Aviation Tax Exemption Agreement. He acknowledged
that the Hong Kong government owed the United States an
answer on finalizing the Agreement (see reftel); however,
two contrasting views exist in Hong Kong regarding the
Agreement. Cathay Pacific believes that the Agreement
would be beneficial; however, the Inland Revenue
DepartmentQs initial view of the Agreement is not positive.
Wong stated that he is waiting for the Inland Revenue
DepartmentQs final opinion on the Agreement and hoped to
resolve the two opposing views.

CUNNINGHAM

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