China, Russia unveil life-size model of planned widebody jet at Zhuhai airshow

Blanche Robertson
November 9, 2018

China's air travel market, which has enjoyed double-digit annual growth over the past few years, is set to overtake the United States to become the world's largest in terms of passengers in the next two decades, according to Airbus and its U.S. rival Boeing, which dominate the large aircraft segment.

China has turned into a key chasing ground for deals for foreign flight firms on account of surging travel request, however the standpoint has been muddled by Beijing's longing to develop its own victors in enterprises extending from aeronautics to semiconductors to robots. This time, however, it comes against the backdrop of a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war. The jet means China has an aircraft with technical specifications roughly comparable to Russia's Su-57 and the US' F-22 and beleaguered F-35.

George Xu, the best China official at Boeing's greatest adversary Airbus, said at a news meeting that the European planemaker did not expect a business fortune from the strains. "Nobody will be the victor in this kind of trade war". The plane manufacturers are anxious that the trade war may derail the programme.

The Chicago-based aerospace giant is on track to surpass its record deliveries of 201 planes in 2017, having already delivered 153 aircraft to Chinese customers in the first three quarters of this year. "We are optimistic for a quick resolution".

China and United States have in recent days stoked optimism that a breakthrough might be made, after Trump spoke by phone with President Xi Jinping last week.

2nd Trump-Kim summit early next year, US president says
Trump told a White House news conference the change was "because of trips that are being made", but did not elaborate on these. The State Department said the talks would be rescheduled "when our respective schedules permit". "And I'll leave it at that".

The two countries have also announced that they will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday.

Still, Beijing has shown little sign of taming its ambitions to catch up with rivals like the United States, France and Germany in high-end technology.

China ordered 10 Boeing 707 jets in 1972, which began Boeing's presence in China.

Boeing estimates the Chinese market for civilian aircraft to reach 7,690 jets worth US$1.2 trillion over the next two decades.

Beijing's fifth-generation stealth fighter participated in a variety of aerial maneuvers and simulated dogfights at an air show in China Tuesday.

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