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China To Build Its Own Large Jetliner 332

Hugh Pickens writes "China's domestic airlines will need to buy an estimated 4,330 new aircraft valued at $480 billion over the next two decades to meet demand in commercial aviation. Now the LA Times reports that the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China expects to begin producing its 156-seat C919 by 2016, competing with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. China has staked billions of dollars and national pride on the effort but what may surprise some Americans worried about slipping US competitiveness is that some well-known US companies are aiding China, putting US and European suppliers in a tough spot: Be willing to hand over advanced technology to Chinese firms that could one day be rivals or miss out on what's likely to be the biggest aviation bonanza of the next half a century. 'If they launch a commercial aviation industry, you've got to be part of it,' says Roger Seager, GE Aviation's vice president and general manager for China, whose company has garnered contracts worth about $6 billion for the C919. 'You can't take a pass and come back in 10 years.'"

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