The 100-acre completion site in in Zhoushan, where workers install interiors to 737s built in Seattle for sale in the Chinese market, is part of the US aerospace company’s plan to strengthen ties to what will soon be the world’s largest aviation market.
The first 737 to roll out of the plant was delivered to Chinese carrier Air China on Saturday.
“This is a significant milestone of Boeing’s efforts to deepen its footprint in China, as well as to support the growth of China’s airline industry, opening an era of the collaboration,” Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC, said in a statement.
Critics of Boeing’s new facility say it moves work done by US-based workers abroad and gives China valuable insight into jetliner production.
Expanding its presence in China is key for Boeing to stay competitive with European arch-rival Airbus.
Boeing estimates China will need 7,680 new planes worth $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years, plus $1.5 trillion in commercial services to support the new fleets.
Trump has also slammed US companies for building factories abroad.
“We’re able to add volume and increase sales in China, because as we increase sales to China we increase building airplanes here in the U.S., and that’s U.S. manufacturing jobs,” he said.