The chairman of Air China on Tuesday welcomed the country's intention to build passenger jets to rival those of Airbus and Boeing but he did not commit to buying them, the Financial Times reported. "It will be a very important milestone for China's economy and its [global] influence," Li Jiaxing said of the plan put forward by the State Council over the weekend. However, he did not give details of how Air China might be involved. The company has earmarked US$1.4 billion for fleet expansion and is set to receive 13 aircraft from Airbus and 11 from Boeing this year. Li observed that success was dependent on the market accepting large Chinese passenger aircraft. "The Chinese people will need to actively want to fly on a Chinese-made big-jet," he said.