China says Boeing welcome to deepen development in its market

BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s aviation regulator’s deputy head on Friday told a Boeing executive in Beijing the airplane maker was welcome to deepen its development in the Chinese market.

Boeing was welcome to continue to strengthen exchanges and co-operation with the regulator and the aviation industry in China, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) quoted Hu Zhenjiang as saying in meeting with Mike Fleming, Boeing’s senior vice president for development programs and customer support.

The meeting comes as China was reportedly considering resuming purchases of its bestselling 737 Max aircraft to Chinese airlines more than four years after they were halted following two deadly crashes.

Hu said that China’s civil aviation and Boeing have experienced 50 years of “friendly exchanges and cooperation”, and the two sides have established a “close” working relationship in a range of fields.

“In the future, China’s air transport market has broad prospects for development, and the size of China’s civil aviation fleet will continue to grow rapidly,” he said.

Fleming told Hu that Boeing attached great importance to the Chinese market, and remains optimistic about the company’s future development, according to the CAAC statement.

Boeing is willing to “actively deepen cooperation with China, work together to promote the development of the aviation industry, and continue to provide better products for the benefit of the people of China, the United States and the world,” Fleming said.

China and the U.S. have been pushing for a further substantial increase of flights between them, as their relations showed signs of thawing after months of tensions.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang, Ella Cao and Brenda Goh; editing by David Evans)