Airbus opens A330 aircraft completion center in China

People look at the first Airbus A330 plane to be delivered from Airbus’ Chinese completion plant for A330 jets to Tianjin Airlines, during the inauguration ceremony of the plant, in Tianjin. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2017
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Airbus opens A330 aircraft completion center in China

TIANJIN, China: Airbus on Wednesday inaugurated its first completion center for large aircraft in China, a new asset for the European manufacturer in heated competition with American rival Boeing.
China is one of the Western manufacturers’ key battlegrounds, with its travelers taking to the skies in ever-growing numbers.
In Tianjin, a port city 150 kilometers from Beijing, Airbus already has an assembly line for the single-aisle aircraft A319 and A320, the first of its kind outside Europe.
Now the same site hosts a completion center for long-haul A330 and its first aircraft was delivered to the local company Tianjin Airlines on Wednesday, accompanied by the playing of cymbals and banging of drums.
“This is the perfect illustration of mutual trust” and “our willingness to embark on a new stage in the Franco-Chinese relationship,” said French junior finance minister Benjamin Griveaux, the first member of President Emmanuel Macron’s government to visit China.
The €200-million facility will receive A330s assembled in France and will prepare the cabins and apply exterior painting. Two aircraft will be delivered every month.
The A330, operated by nine Chinese airlines, is the most popular wide-body aircraft in the country.
“The inauguration of our (center) in Tianjin, together with the first of many deliveries, marks a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint,” Fabrice Bregier, Airbus chief operating office, said at one of the site’s giant halls alongside leaders of the aviation manufacturer Avic, the European firm’s Chinese partner.
The majority of Airbus orders in China remain its A320 single-aisle jetliner. But with about 200 A330s in the country’s skies, the aircraft manufacturer also controls 61 percent of the long-haul market.
According to the company, China will need about 6,000 airliners over the next two decades, and its demand for large carriers will be boosted by the explosion of Chinese passenger traffic abroad that is increasing at 14 percent per year, said Eric Chen, president of Airbus China.
Having doubled its market share in the space of a decade, Airbus is now on par with Boeing in China. But the American aircraft maker does not intend to be left behind. Next year it will open its own finishing center for the medium-haul B737 in China.
For its part, the Chinese state aircraft manufacturer Comac intends to jostle the Airbus-Boeing duopoly with its medium-haul C919, which took its maiden flight in May.


Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

Updated 20 July 2018
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Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said in an interview released Friday he is willing to hit all Chinese goods imported to the US with tariffs if necessary.
“I’m ready to go 500,” the Republican leader told the US network CNBC, referring to the $505.5 billion in Chinese imports accepted into the US in 2017.
“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said.
“We’ve been ripped off by China for a long time,” he added.
After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the US early this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese mechanical and technological products — sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back dollar for dollar.
China accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.”
A second tranche of $16 billion in products is under review and could soon be added to the US measures.
In the full interview released Friday Trump reiterated his claim that the US is “being taken advantage of” on issues including trade policy.
“I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to do well,” the US president said of China. “I really like President Xi a lot. But it was very unfair.”
The US-China spat is the largest and broadest of several trade fights picked by Trump.
The growing share of international trade under threat has raised the prospect the escalating trade war could harm the global economy by disrupting companies supply chains, pushing firms to hold off on investments and making goods more expensive for consumers.
In excerpts of the interview released on Thursday Trump had broken with the long-established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve’s decisions out of respect for its independence.
“I’m not thrilled,” Trump told the network in an interview excerpt aired Thursday. “Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.”