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China sets up state-owned aircraft engine maker

[SHANGHAI] China's state-owned enterprise body on Wednesday said it has set up an aircraft engine manufacturer, the latest chapter in a government drive to develop home-grown, high-tech capabilities that can compete in international markets.

The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission will inject capital into the new company, it said in a brief statement on its website.

The government has been overhauling its state-owned sector to push Chinese products and services up the value chain. Under that drive, it has prioritised aircraft engines, high-speed rail and nuclear power as areas it wants China to excel.

In March, state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) said it was finalising a 129 billion yuan (S$26 billion) merger of its aircraft engine businesses. At the time, its listed subsidiaries said they would have a new state parent.

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The restructuring would create an aerospace and aviation giant that could eventually compete with the likes of United Technologies Corp's US aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney, industry observers said.