Senior Chinese diplomat meets Boeing executive; China 'willing to provide necessary assistance to US companies'
Published: Feb 23, 2023 02:22 AM
A Boeing 737 Max jet Photo: IC

A Boeing 737 Max jet Photo: IC

US planemaker Boeing's top executive in China met with a senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday in Beijing.

Director-General of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Yang Tao met with Sherry Carbary, president of Boeing China at the request of the latter, according to the WeChat account of the department on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Yang highlighted the developmental opportunities available to foreign-invested companies in China through the China Model of Modernization, as well as the benefits of China's continued opening-up policy and the positive trend of its growing economy.

Yang expressed hope that Boeing would continue to develop and grow along with the Chinese market, and play a role as a bridge between the two countries. Yang also stated that his department was willing to provide necessary assistance to US companies, including Boeing, to facilitate exchange and cooperation with China.

Boeing Co Chief Executive Dave Calhoun in earlier February pointed toward future increases in narrow-body jet production and voiced hopes that a planned visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken "would lead eventually to robust plane orders," Reuters reported.

However, Blinken's visit has yet to occur, and bilateral tensions have escalated due to the US shooting down a civilian airship.

China is one of the world's largest aviation markets, and a forecast by Boeing released in October 2022 predicts that China's commercial fleets will more than double in the next 20 years, requiring 8,485 new aircraft valued at $1.5 trillion to serve commercial travel and trade.

China had suspended commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX since March 2019 after two fatal crashes.

Although China Southern Airlines restarted its commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX last month, there has been no official announcement from the civil aviation regulator regarding the resumption of flying services of the 737 MAX.

According to Reuters, although Boeing Co reported a significant increase in airplane orders and deliveries in 2022, it still trailed behind its European rival Airbus for the fourth consecutive year. Airbus reportedly outperformed the US manufacturer by more than tenfold in the Chinese market.

Gong Ting, associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that despite the Biden administration's crackdowns on China, US companies remain keen to maintain their presence in China and take advantage of its vast market. This, Gong argued, reflects the mutually beneficial nature of the economic and trade relationship between China and the US.

The fact that US businesses are resisting the Biden administration's push for decoupling from China shows that there is opposition to this policy among US business circles, Gong noted.