Do you fly in a Chinese Assembled plane?
Indicative of the direction in which China is heading is this article from the Japanese magazine Nikkei.
The European consortium Airbus, announced in 2005 that they would assemble their A320 model in China, using chinese fabricated wings. A huge 114,000 square metre facility was built in Tianjin in north China.
Tianjin is part of the huge industrial complex developed around Beijing and is connected to Beijing by part of China's world leading fast train network. A fast train like this
leaves each way, on an average of every 5-6 minutes, and travels the 120 km in approx. 33 minutes for a single fare of around A$10.00 (60 yuan).
Tianjin port is listed among the top 50 in the world.
The assembly plant's workers are trained to the same technical standard as Airbus' European workers. The assembly line turns out four finished A320's a month.
The Chinese aircraft industry long ago achieved a high level of technical excellence, but focussed on miltary requirements. The production of military aircraft was a key factor in the industrial zone created in China's third line of defense in the mountainous areas of southwest China (in the days when the Chinese government feared an invasion by the USA). Mountains were hollowed out to build production facilities for fighter aircraft, and connected by railway lines through a geographical space in which western engineers said rail-lines could not be built. The man who organised this was Deng Xiaoping, and it has to be admitted that he showed himself to be an organising genius. Ideologically opposed to Mao Zedong's socialist program (Mao called Deng a 'capitalist-roader' and later put him in jail), Deng later let loose the current expansion of China with his policy statement, "To get rich is glorious."
Since the government has committed to change the pattern of exports to a more technical level, we can imagine that it wont be long before Chinese designed commercial aircraft are part of the export mix.
"China is a sleeping dragon, when she awakes the world will tremble"--- Napoleon..
I hear the kids make great phones and sneakers.