In a major effort to boost the US export, China signed two contracts Wednesday with US companies for the purchase of billions of dollars worth of planes and aircraft engines.
Five Chinese airlines have decided to order 30 Next-Generation 737 jets valued at about 1.7 billion US dollars. The planes are scheduled to be delivered in 2005 and 2006 to Air China, Hainan Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
The Chinese AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. Ltd. also inked a deal with GE Aircraft Engines to supply GE engines for ARJ21, China's new regional jet aircraft now under development and slated for flight-testing in 2006.
Representatives from the two companies predicted that 500 ARJ aircraft will be produced in China over the next 20 years, creating approximately 3 billion dollars of business for GE engines.
The two aviation contracts are just part of a series of deals China is to make for purchasing US goods, said Zhang Guobao, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission who is leading a Chinese delegation to the United States. The contracts were signed at the US Department of Commerce.
China also plans to import a large amount of US agricultural products, Cadillac cars and auto components, as well as telecommunication equipment, he said.
These purchases are a proof that "China is making great efforts to expand its import from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries," the Chinese official noted.
US Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans also hailed the new contracts.
"They will generate corporate revenue, and they will support high-tech manufacturing jobs in many American communities. This will have a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy," Evans said at the signing ceremony.