First Chinese-Built Passenger Jet Enters Service

Image copyright: Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • The C919, China's first domestically-built large passenger jet, completed its first commercial flight on Sunday, flying from Shanghai to Beijing without complications under the China Eastern Airlines carrier.

  • The state-backed Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC) has been developing the plane for 15 years, which presents the first Chinese challenge to Western aircraft manufacturers.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

China has come a long way from the "800 million shirts for one Boeing" mindset during the early days of China's modernization, with the country finally able to start wresting control of the skies from Western manufacturers. This is a huge step forward for China's industrial independence and is a testament to the stellar technological and economic progress made.

Anti-China narrative

Most of the components used to build the C919 are imported from abroad, making proclamations of economic independence little more than patriotic puffery. What's worse, there is a strong case to be made that the plane was designed using stolen technology, as China's advanced industrial espionage program has been known to target Western aviation companies.

Go Deeper

Establishment split



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