Aviation sector should be more competitive: Li

By Zhao Yinan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-01-30 08:13:10

Premier Li Keqiang encouraged aviation researchers to upgrade their design and manufacturing capabilities to become globally competitive.

Li made the remarks during an inspection tour this week of one of China's aviation industry centers in Shaanxi province.

As the last stop of the premier's Lunar New Year greeting tour of Shaanxi, Li went to the First Aircraft Institute under the Aviation Industry Corp of China on Jan 28.

In the past days, he also paid visits to express delivery companies, children and elderly residents left behind in the countryside, and inspected new homes built for people who relocated to avoid natural hazards in the province.

While Li's visit to the leading aviation research institute is part of the government's efforts to promote domestic equipment to the international market, industry experts said.

The institute, in China's aviation industrial base of Yanliang district in Xi'an, designs aircraft for both military and civilian use. Its well-known products include early warning aircraft, bombers and large transport carriers.

After learning the latest developments in the aviation industry and flight test systems, Li asked researchers to have the will to design and manufacture quality equipment that is globally competitive.

"Key technology and equipment plays a pivotal role as the backbone of the upgrade and improvement of the economy," Li said.

The premier highlighted the role of innovation in the upgrade of high-end equipment, and he said China's aviation development must "follow its own way".

Promoting China's high-end equipment to international customers has been an essential part of the premier's overseas trips, including to Thailand and Romania, since Li took office in 2013.

"China has to make 100 million T-shirts to trade for one airplane," Li said during a trip to Romania in November, as he compared the economic benefits of high-end manufacturing with that of industries of lesser value.

The customs statistics of 2013 showed factories in the world's second-largest economy are churning out ever-more sophisticated products for people worldwide. Last year, machinery, electrical and high-tech goods accounted for about 80 percent of total exports, contrary to perceptions that textiles, shoes and furniture make up the bulk of made-in-China goods.

In the run-up to the Year of the Horse, the premier said reform will continue to "take the lead" as he maps out the government's priorities for next year at a gathering in Beijing on Jan 29.

He promised "deeper reforms" and "greater openness" to remove institutional barriers, unshackle productivity and improve people's living conditions.

Li also emphasized the role of innovation in economic restructuring and improving the quality and efficiency of economic expansion.

The government will make a greater effort to deal with issues of public concern, including housing, medical treatment, social security, education, food safety and air pollution, he said.

Most Popular