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China spends US$40 bln buying US planes
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-14 23:28:54

    BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Of the 863 operating civil planes in China by November 2005, 534 are from Boeing company of the United States, a senior Chinese civil aviation executive said here Tuesday.

    "Calculated according to the catalogue price, China has spent nearly 40 billion U.S. dollars on purchasing planes from the United States," said Li Jiaxiang, president of the China National Aviation Holding Company, at the China-US Business Forum opened here Tuesday.

    He said that growth in China's civil aviation industry has contributed tremendously to development of Sino-US economic and trade relations. "The greatest beneficiary is the US plane manufacturing business," said Li.

    "China purchases a large number of plane engines, aero-electric equipment, accessories and advanced navigating devices each year and enjoys maintenance service provided by U.S. companies," said Li.

    Meanwhile, tens of thousands of employees of China's airplane companies have received various forms of professional training in the U.S., which have brought more profits to the U.S. aviation field, Li said.

    "The growth of China's civil aviation has provided hundreds of thousands job opportunities to the U.S. aviation industry, which proves that the two nations have win-win economic and trade relations," said Li.

    China's airline companies ordered 60 B787 aircraft and 70 B737 aircraft in 2005 alone, with a total price of more than 11 billion U.S. dollars, ranking 2005 as China's largest plane purchasing year.

    China has entered the development of transportation in the 11th Five-Year Development Program (2006-2010) and will need over 2,600 new planes in the coming 20 years, valued at a price of more than 213 billion U.S dollars, according to the latest analysis by the Boeing company.

    China will purchase more than 100 airliners each year from 2006 to 2010, Gao Hongfeng, deputy director general of China's General Administration of Civil Aviation told a press conference here on Tuesday.

    However, official statistics say that the number of Chinese air travelers is quite small, with each Chinese only flying 0.06 time per year on average, while each American can fly 2.2 times a year.

    Experts predict that China will see an annual increase of more than 22 million middle-class consumers and will have become the largest tourist destination country and the fourth largest source of tourists before 2020, with the number of Chinese traveling abroad to reach 100 million.

    China signed an agreement with the United States in Dec. 2004 to promote bilateral travel and tourism cooperation and the U.S. will be completely open to Chinese tourists in the foreseeable future.

    Li said, the huge potential consumption by Chinese tourists in the U.S. will be conducive to narrowing the Sino-U.S. trade deficit.

    China and the U.S. should promote bilateral economic and trade ties under an effective communication mechanism, Li said, and airline companies of both countries should strengthen cooperation by investing and holding shares in each other's transport companies.

    The number of air travelers in China soared to 138 million in 2005, doubling the 2000 figure, due to increases in disposable income and economic activities, said Gao of the CAAC. Enditem

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