What will China be like at the millenium’s close? China may be the most changing nation on Earth, with few definite landmarks to guide analysis of political and economic developments. One’s perspective is important: up too close, one sees the eddies of intrigue which occasionally topple someone in high office; too far back, one can miss the extraordinary significance of what is happening in China at this point in history. This discussion has limited goals. Under examination is the strikingly anamolous introduction of competitive economic forces into a high-technology service sector: aviation. The approach of this examination is to inquire into the development of legal systems regulating that competition. Part I establishes the theoretical principles of the recent economic reforms in China. Part II describes the manifold changes in China’s aviation industry. Part III offers some restrained comments regarding what these changes may, in light of the past, signify for China’s future.