In 36 years of cooperation between China and the U.S., few brands have come to epitomize the relationship quite like Boeing. In 1972, then-U.S. President Richard Nixon made his ice-breaking visit to China on a Boeing 707. That year China purchased 10 Boeing 707s, ending the monopoly of Soviet-made civil aircraft in China’s skies.
Today, Boeing sees the country more as a business partner than a buyer, said David Wang, president of Boeing China. China plays a supplier role in all Boeing civil models and more than 6,000 Chinese work for Boeing or related joint ventures.
Boeing has trained some 37,000 Chinese aviation professionals so far. Boeing’s growth in China will continue, despite the introduction of the ARJ21. The company announced plans in November to spend $21 million to expand capacity at its composite materials joint venture in Tianjin by 60 percent.