BEIJING/SYDNEY :Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that his country would step up efforts to make technological breakthroughs after the homegrown C919 narrowbody jet was certified by its aviation regulator, state media reported.
The first aircraft, designed to rival single-aisle jets made by Airbus and Boeing, will be delivered by the end of the year, the Xinhua News Agency report said.
The news came a day after photos of a certification ceremony for the plane were posted on social media.
Although the C919 is assembled in China, it relies heavily on Western components, including engines and avionics, from companies including GE, Safran and Honeywell International.
Xi met with a C919 delegation on Friday in Beijing, ahead of the country’s National Day on Saturday, the Xinhua report said.
During the meeting, Xi emphasised China’s focus on making technological breakthroughs to speed up its development as a manufacturing powerhouse.
He said the successful development of the C919 indicated that China has the ability to independently develop world-class large passenger aircraft and was an important milestone in the development of China’s large aircraft industry, according to Xinhua.
In the 15 years since the project began, China successfully designed the plane, integrated systems, conducted global bidding and gradually improved the level of localisation, Xi added.