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Abbreviation for Civil Aviation Administration of China: it is the Chinese state council equivalent of the FAA in the United States, or the JAA in Europe.

Until 1988, the CAAC directly ran all airline services within the PRC, and only allowed limited access to foreign airlines. Initially, it used Soviet-derived aircraft, but after Richard Nixon's visit it was able to procure newer American and British planes. In 1988, it was split into seventeen smaller airlines: various mergers have since brought this number down to three (Air China of Beijing, China Southern Airlines of Guangzhou, and China Eastern Airlines of Shanghai).

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