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Learning English - Words in the News
21 December, 2007 - Published 12:19 GMT
China's first ever jet
Model of the ARJ21

China has unveiled its first ever passenger jet at a ceremony in Shanghai. The ARJ21 will carry up to ninety passengers and is expected to be in service towards the end of 2009. This report from Daniel Griffiths:

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China has big dreams for its aerospace industry and this plane is just the beginning. Beijing wants to build its own jumbo jets by 2020 and challenge giants like Boeing and Airbus.

That's going to be difficult - China's starting from scratch with planes that don't have the track record of their competitors. And although the ARJ21 is designed and assembled at home, much of the technology comes from the US and Europe.

China now has one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. It's thought that it will need to buy three planes every week for the next twenty years just to keep up with demand.

Daniel Griffiths, BBC News, Beijing

Listen to the words

here, intentions

aerospace industry
aviation as a business

jumbo jets
very big passenger aircraft (like Boeing 747)

here, very big manufacturing companies

starting from scratch
beginning to build its own planes without any previous experience

track record
past performance and achievements

teams, companies or countries that are trying to be more successful than others

if you design something, like a building or, as in this case, a plane, you make or draw plans for it

put/fitted together

to keep up with demand
here, to have enough planes to carry all the people who want to use them

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