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Opinion | Through China's widebody C929 jet development world can share its grand vision

By Augustus K. Yeung

China now harbors the vision of tapping into Asia's new middle class for a brighter future. Bernard Chan, the former Convener of the Executive Council said: "Our connectivity, stable political environment, effective governance and rule of law give us the tools to take advantage of the economic opportunities in the region," he once wrote in the SCMP.

Such is another mega project, apart from China's Belt and Road Initiative, which is and has been meandering lazily around the world in the last ten years, drawing controversy there by anti-China factions. But most of the time this initiative is now here making inroads – lately in Serbia and Hungary, which welcomed the Chinese leader in an enthusiastic way that has never happened or been received by any world leader since WW ll.

It is now obvious that on land, at sea and in the air, China's high-speed railway system is shaping the world's transportation system, connecting people in four continents, hoping to create global harmony, to stabilize food security and to ensure the efficient and affordable passage for peoples  – both the "have" and "have-not" – around the world.

Such way of making world contributions should be the concrete argument that China's rise is not about dominating the world or compromising the existing power of the U.S, but a constructive way of urging the world community to believe that a new and modern China powered by the CPC, seasoned with Chinese characteristics is now making a difference.

China should not be looked at from an angle of antagonism.

And it is not about China's rise. Asia too is part of its game of growth. The next target would be the ASEAN bloc, which houses the largest Asian population , sharing the same cultural values.

For now, let us focus on China's latest aviation development.

China's home-grown C929 widebody passenger jet has entered "a crucial stage" of its development process – amid Beijing's continuous efforts for a strong presence in Asia, especially in the aviation industry.

"It's a crucial stage in the development process, which indicates the overall technical scheme of the aircraft has been determined," Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) marketing director Zhang Xiaoguang told a science conference in Shanghai.

It would then be followed by the design and manufacturing of systems and components, he added.

The update came amid ongoing speculation since last year that Russia had dropped out of its partnership with Comac to develop the widebody airliner, which was formerly known as the CR929.

In 2017, Comac and Russian aerospace and defence company United Aircraft Corporation set up a joint venture in Shanghai to focus on building the CR929.

China and Russia said in December that they would "actively promote cooperation projects in the joint development of long-range-widebody passenger aircraft and heavy helicopters", without specifying the exact projects or companies involved. The C929 would have 280-400 seats and a range of 12,000km…

Li Dongsheng, Comac's chief engineer of composite materials said the C929 would incorporate more than 50 percent carbon fibre composite materials and 15 percent titanium alloy.

Li added that the proportion of titanium alloy marked a substantial leap beyond the roughly 10 percent typically found in mainstream narrowbody aircraft, aligning with the standard of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 and higher than the 12 percent in its C919 narrowbody passenger jet.

Chinese fuselage manufacturer Huarui Aerospace Manufacturing, which was selected by Comac in 2021 to build the body of the C929, said in a WeChat post on its official account in February that the first middle section would be delivered by September 2027.

China has intensified its push – to break the long-standing duopoly of US-based Boeing and European multinational corporation Airbus in civil aviation as part of a broader effort – to demonstrate its prowess in advanced manufacturing, fuelled largely by the growing technological rivalry with the U.S.

Beijing has made the home-grown C919 the poster child for its entry into the aviation sector, and the aircraft has surpassed a "milestone" after completing over 240,000km of test flights.

A fifth C919 entered commercial operation with China Eastern earlier this month, while the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in January they would push for European certification of the jet – which has so far only been certified to be used commercially within China.

Comac has also delivered 128 of its smaller ARJ21 narrowbody regional aircraft, according to Zhang.

"We will actively reserve large-scale orders for large aircraft," Comac's deputy marketing director Liu Yan said.

"We will coordinate the domestic and international markets in an orderly manner and secure a large number of customers and orders, laying a solid foundation for large-scale production, delivery and operation." (Source: SCMP)

At this stage in China's history and development, The CPC's grand vision for world peace –  through uniting the peoples is taking shape, gaining momentum as the task had been taken over by the late leaders Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter, and now Xi Jinping as China's architect of aviation and ambassador of goodwill.

Indeed, there are a lot of projects the U.S. can cooperate with China, for example, in the areas of eliminating social inequality such as through higher education – an area in which the U.S. is taking the lead.

This is especially true: Women's liberation and in shattering the glass ceiling (in the corporate world) as well as in the world of politics, woman should be better served – with the United States' well-bodied institutions of college education at the fore front.


The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.

To contact the writer, please direct email:AugustusKYeung@ymail.com

Read more articles by Augustus K. Yeung:

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Opinion | Instigated by US, it's Philippine's military moves that have angered China

Opinion | Pansy Ho opens 'Legends of Chivalry' Exhibition with Ren Zhe

Opinion | Macau, the most promising SAR, selected as 'Culture City of East Asia 2025'

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