Although Li Fenghua, chairman of China Eastern Airlines, and his counterpart at Air China, Li Jiaxiang, represent two different phases in the development of the mainland's economy, both deploy the age-old technique of using the media to mobilise investors. The China Eastern chief represents the old school and its faith in a planned economy - leaving everything to government control. On December 13, he said the stake sale to Singapore Airlines was government-driven. 'I speak not only in the capacity of China Eastern; I represent the government to put forward the deal,' Mr Li said in an interview the next day. Li Jiaxiang, in contrast, represents the new school and believes in the invisible hand of the market. Vowing to respond to market needs, he said Air China would vote according to the interests of investors. When told that Singapore Airlines revealed that China National Aviation Holdings Corp, Air China's parent, might vote in favour of the deal, Mr Li shrugged off the suggestion with a laugh. In the past two weeks, both companies have been playing to the media to air their differences in an attempt to sway individual investors. China Eastern's chief sticks to the line that Air China will vote for the deal and the Beijing-based carrier will not be able to launch a counter offer since it lacks government support. For its part, Air China executives argue that the bidding price is too low and that since they know the market better, they would add more value to the match.