GM HUGHES STRESSES EXPORTS TO CHINA DESPITE DISPUTE

GM HUGHES STRESSES EXPORTS TO CHINA DESPITE DISPUTE

GM Hughes Electronics sees a fast-growing China as a key target despite Sino- U.S. political squabbles that threaten to knock one of its key businesses out of the sky.

C. Michael Armstrong, GM Hughes' chairman, said China's rapid economic development and huge need for infrastructure combine to make it a priority target for everything from satellites and air traffic systems to automobile components and telephones."We hope we are on the springboard to a much higher-level business relationship," Mr. Armstrong said in an interview here.

Both Hughes and other technology firms are jumping to get into the vibrant China market.

Hughes' subsidiary, Delco Electronics, is engaged in negotiations with Chinese companies to produce electronics and engine-control components for cars, which many economists say could become one of China's hot industries during the next decade.

Hughes "fixed wireless" telephone systems, which use cellular phone technology to bypass traditional land-based wiring, is being put in place in the southwestern city of Chengdu and could become a good, cheap alternative to satisfy China's voracious telecommunications appetite.

Hughes, a subsidiary of General Motors Corp., is bidding for a number of air traffic control system upgrades. It also would be eager for the chance to bid for a new national air traffic system, should Beijing decide it needs it to cope with a boom in its aviation sector.

''We have as much equipment as they have money to spend," Mr. Armstrong said. "The thing that is attractive about China is its potential."