The government confirmed Sunday that it had taken the "important strategic decision" to challenge Boeing and Airbus by setting up a state-owned company to build passenger jets, the Financial Times reported. A statement posted on the government's website said the decision to begin research and development with a view to market entry reflected "the wish of the entire Chinese people for many years". It said the decision was made on February 26 but gave no reason for delaying the announcement, nor did it give a timetable for setting up the company or details on how it would be funded. China is one of the largest target markets for Boeing and Airbus. According to an Airbus projection, China requires 2,929 large aircraft, worth US$349 billion, between 2006 and 2025. It would likely take China decades to develop a range of jets to mount a proper challenge to the Boeing-Airbus duopoly.