US aerospace manufacturer Boeing has finalised a number of large deals with Chinese state-run enterprises, further solidifying the company’s ties with China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping took of a tour of Boeing’s production facilities in Seattle, as part of his first official trip to the United States.
There he was accompanied by company executives who showed off the new 787 Dreamliner production line, and answered questions Xi had regarding energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Following this tour, Boeing announced that it had finalised a $38bn deal with the China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CASC) for the purchase of 300 aircraft.
In total, CASC plans to purchase 240 airplanes for Chinese airlines, including 190 737s and 50 widebody aircraft, as well as a further 60 aircraft for leasing companies ICBC and CDB Leasing.
“Boeing airplanes have played an important role in supporting the development of China’s aviation transportation for the past 40 years,” said Li Hai, president of China Aviation Supplies Holding Company.
As well, Boeing confirmed another deal with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to build a manufacturing facility in China.
The company plans to open a joint-venture with Comac for a new 737 completions factory, although as yet, no final location has been announced.
“We are bringing the Boeing 737 closer to our Chinese customers, supporting rising 737 production rates and enhancing our access to China’s dynamic and fast-growing aviation market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner.
Finally, Boeing and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) also announced an agreement to broaden their long-term collaboration to support Boeing’s commercial airplane programs.
Boeing seen as a role model in China
The Chinese media and government view Boeing’s relationship with the country as broadly positive.
As he toured the company’s Seattle factory Xi Jinping was quoted by Chinese state-run media as saying that Boeing/China relations are a “prototype for Sino-US trade cooperation”.
China is Boeing’s largest customer, and has supplied a large number of aircraft to the country over the past decades.