French president says China will buy 184 Airbus jets

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, left, President of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) receive a scale model of the CFOSAT (China-France Oceanography SATellite) during a visit to the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Charles Platiau/Pool Photo via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a press conference at the French Embassy in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a press conference at the French Embassy in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron receives a scale model of the CFOSAT (China-France Oceanography SATellite) during his visit to the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Charles Platiau/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING — China plans to buy 184 Airbus A320 jetliners, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday, in a diplomatic tradition aimed at defusing trade complaints.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said his government "will preserve parity" in market share between Airbus and its U.S. rival, Boeing, said Macron at a news conference.

China often times announcements of purchases of aircraft and other big-ticket items to coincide with visits by foreign leaders in an effort to defuse trade tensions.

Macron said details have yet to be completed and he gave no financial figures. At the list price for A320s, the order could total $18 billion, but large buyers often get deep discounts.

"China will preserve its volume of purchases in the future and will preserve parity in market share between Airbus and Boeing," Macron said.

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