American and United seem to be engaged in a first class (that’s right, not coach or business class) fare war to China. Out of select markets, paid first class tickets to Beijing and Shanghai are available as low as ~$3,000 all-in. The fare is available through the end of the schedule with no minimum stay requirements. There’s even some availability remaining for this year, which could be tempting with American’s double miles promotion.
American seems to have these fares out of United hubs, while United seems to have these fares out of American hubs. There could be other cities available as well, so I suggest using ITA Matrix to search fares/availability out of your city.
Anyway, this is a bit out of my budget, but as far as paid first class fares to China go, this is about the lowest I’ve ever seen. I doubt this will last for long!