FOCUS - Airbus deal could lead to China becoming jet production hub
"It's a very clever move as it obviously brings China into the equation in terms of developing its own capacity," said Ian Thomas, an analyst at the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, according to Agence France-Presse.
"So from that point of view it brings a lot of value to China... and to actually set up a manufacturing facility in that country is a big bonus."
China has repeatedly stated its ambitions of building large passenger jets by 2020 although it is still struggling to develop a market for domestically built jets of 70 to 90 seats.
The secretary general of European aerospace and defence equipment body GEAD, Olivier Gorge, has already warned that Europe's aviation industry needed to be careful not to give away all its trade secrets in its rush to win business in China.
"It is necessary to be sure, therefore, that French technology in terms of aerospace equipment does not go to China through production sub-contracting," Gorge told Agence France-Presse in an interview last week.
"There have been examples in the past of some parts suppliers returning from China having seen piracy of their technology."
The A350 is the European group's response to Boeing's new generation 787 "Dreamliner" passenger jets.
Airbus has yet to receive any orders from China for its A350 aircraft whereas Boeing signed a deal with Beijing in January to sell 60 of its "Dreamliners".
In the battle for supremacy of the skies in China and around the globe US aerospace giant Boeing says it has booked 800 commercial plane orders in the first 11 months of 2005, giving it an apparent lead over European rival Airbus.
Airbus, which has been the market leader in recent years, says it has booked 494 orders as of October, compared with 674 for Boeing for the same period. Airbus is due to release new figures this week.