A Chinese news agency reported today that China plans to sign a deal next month confirming five airlines' orders for 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

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SEATTLE — A Chinese news agency reported today that China plans to sign a deal next month confirming five airlines’ orders for 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Boeing Co. said it was still negotiating with those carriers and one other airline to finalize commitments for a total of 60 orders placed in January.

Airlines involved in the $6 billion deal, reported by the official Xinhua News Agency, were the national flag carrier Air China, Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Shanghai Airlines.

The deal announced in January involved six airlines — including China Southern — and was for 60 787s worth $7.2 billion.

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Boeing declined to discuss the discrepancy between the 60 planes the airlines committed to ordering in January and the 50 orders China reported today.

“We continue to work with six airlines in China to finalize the commitments that were made in January,” said Boeing spokesman Peter Conte in Seattle.

To date, Boeing has received 143 firm orders and 109 additional commitments for the fuel-efficient, long-range 787, including the 60 orders the Chinese airlines placed in January.

The largest combined order for the 787 so far has come from Japan, where All-Nippon Airways has ordered 50 planes and Japan Air Lines has ordered 30.

The long-range wide-body jet is scheduled to enter service in 2008. Airbus, Boeing’s chief rival, has designed the A350, a mid-sized jet, to compete with the 787.

The planes are at the heart of a U.S.-European Union dispute before the World Trade Organization.

The United States filed a complaint in May about plans for European government aid to fund the development of the A350. The EU then filed a counter-complaint, claiming that Boeing continues to benefit from massive subsidies in violation of international trade agreements.

China has made a series of major aircraft purchases in recent years from Boeing and Airbus to serve its booming airline industry. Both Boeing and Toulouse, France-based Airbus have boosted sales efforts there.

Boeing says it expects China’s airlines to spend $183 billion on aircraft over the next two decades as its 1.3 billion increasingly prosperous citizens take to air travel.

Boeing has said the 787s will be priced at about $120 million each, though airlines usually negotiate discounts for large orders. The plane will be assembled in Everett, about 30 miles north of Seattle.