Firstly, I want to say, that I was not trying to wave the flag or turn this into an us vs them debate. However when a very blanket statement like that is made, and it is without substance or merit, then I feel that I must speak up.
I do agree about JFK, but the we have to look at LAX, MIA or most of the other major airports in the US, where there is little or no interference or restriction on photography(aside from the occassional overzealous security guard or police officer). Most airport authorities (in the US the cities or counties own the airports) and FAA are usually OK with photography, just as long as you are not trying to scale a parimenter fence or illegly trying to access a secured area, namely the airside operations area (AOA). Suffice it to say had he merely pointed to JFK as an example, then I never would have responded.
Although I have been to China, I have never photographed aviation there, so I can not speak on whether it is safe to shoot at Capital City Airport in Beijing or Shanghai.
"Show me the Braniffs"