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Strained U.S.-Beijing Ties Could Cripple Boeing’s China Strategy

Strained U.S.-Beijing Ties Could Cripple Boeing’s China Strategy 

Boeing 747 at PSN SM terminal, elevated view

Courtesy of PETER COHAN at Daily Finance 

You might think that with China owning at least $1.3 trillion of the U.S.’s $12 trillion in national debt that Washington would tread carefully when making moves that annoy Beijing. That’s hardly the case. Cases in point: The U.S. is selling $6.4 billion in military equipment to Taiwan, and President Obama is planning a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

These moves upset China, and it’s threatening to retaliate — in part by possibly sanctioning companies like Boeing (BA) — which is selling some of those arms to Taiwan, according to China Daily. The details of such sanctions have yet to be announced — but China’s threat could prompt Boeing executives to fly to Washington and Beijing to try calming things down.

Boeing needs China badly. According to China Daily, the planemaker sells over half the aircraft that Chinese airlines fly. And Boeing is purchasing hundreds of millions worth of parts from China for its new aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner. Moreover, over a third of Boeing’s total aircraft parts come from China. As I’ve posted, some observers think Boeing CEO Jim McNerney would even like to move Boeing to China to save money.

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