Boeing May Be Glad It Missed The Plane To China

Losing out on China's joint venture may save it loads of trouble

For months, Western aerospace companies have been falling over one another to become a partner in a Chinese project to build a 100-seat jet. In April, with U.S.-China relations tense, Chinese Premier Li Peng traveled to France and announced the winner: Beijing would sign a memorandum of understanding with a European consortium rather than Boeing Co., the leading U.S. contender. Politics, the Seattle giant says, cost it a lucrative deal.

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