China's New National Aviation Zone©

Over 40 square kilometers of land has been dedicated to the ascent of China's new Aviation Industry Manufacturing Complex, which will rival the aviation and aerospace industry in the European Union and the United States.

Pride has replaced the ideology of Stalinist era communism. Pride is very apparent in the new aviation technologies of microwave, radar, advanced aircraft design systems, space-related assemblies, semiconductors, imagining, space ports, antennas, components and complete aircraft assembly manufacturing plants. The emphasis will be on advanced wireless related technologies; advanced computer generated process control and design systems and advanced light aircraft designs for business and commercial use.

Global Aviation and Aerospace firms are already working in the Aviation Center such as Boeing. Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation (SAIC) and Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC) delivered the 300th sets of horizontal stabilizer and vertical fins for Boeing's 737. There are now 3,200 Boeing airplanes flying worldwide that include major parts and assemblies by China, equal to over a quarter of all Boeing airplanes in service worldwide. China operates 253 Boeing 737s.

Airbus from the European Union, Boeing and General Electric Engines headquartered in the United States, and Rolls Royce Engines of the UK have become the technology center pieces for the Xi'an Aeropolis. Recently, a Brazilian company has taken the lead by setting up a joint venture to assemble a new civilian jet. Airplane parts and assemblies for business, civil and heavy transport aircraft will soon be launched. The ARJ21, a new jet model by the China Aviation Industry Corporation was rolled out of the production hangars. Boeing has procured over $500 million in aviation hardware from China and is expected to reach US$1.3 billion by 2010.

Airbus and its parent company European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), the world's premier aerospace and defense company, will begin operations in the Xi'an Aeropolis. From its current US$10million annual numbers, Airbus procurements will be worth US$60million annually by 2007. Aerospatiale, which is now Airbus France, has partnered with Xi'an Aircraft Company to manufacture and assemble access doors for the Airbus A300/A310 widebody aircraft. In October 2003, Airbus and Xi'an Aircraft Company signed several US$7.5 million contracts to increase the production rate of A320 access doors, A330/A340 brake blades and passenger door skin for the A320 family. China will need 2,400 jet airplanes. By 2022, Chinese carriers will fly more than 2,850 passenger and cargo airplanes.

Companies from around the world have shown increased interests in sourcing from China because of its achievement in quality and cost efficiency. Since its entry into the World Trade Organization a great sense of nationalism has overtaken the Chinese. China is very sensitive to its global image and to local issues. American companies who have lined up to enter the Xi'an Aeropolis must show that they are committed to the China Aviation Market and a willingness to create a win-win situation for both parties. While many CEOs of Aviation multinationals have usually set up an office in Xi'an, the right approach is to first visit the Xi'an Aeropolis to conduct an assessment of the resources and the commitment of the Chinese Government to building a long term relationship. It is important that US and European aviation industry companies work with a management consulting company that has the relationships and knowledge.

China is making a strong commitment to expand the value of its exports by building a strong manufacturing base in Aviation as it moves its 1.4 billion people to a modern 21st Century society. The PRC needs to increase its terms of trade while locating new sources of food, energy and raw materials. The day may come when China will form a United European-like Union in Asia with its own common currency. It is clear that in 20 years China will be stronger than Japan and Korea combined. The stewards of the Xi'an High Tech Zone who have spent over 12 months developing the Xi'an Aeropolis have the vision that the central government leadership must shed their middle kingdom mentality and be integrated into the World's aviation economy. In numerous meetings that I have had with aviation industry executives and key regional and local government officials, it is very clear that they are eager to partner with American aviation and aerospace firms and to work in a spirit of collaboration. The rise of this US$14 billion Xi'an Aeropolis will usher in a new era of trade and self reliance for China. Putting politics aside, it is like Alvin Toffler said, "Without knowledge exchanged, no wealth can be created" between the US and China's transportation, communication and technology sectors.

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