By John S. McClenahen During the next 20 years China will need 1,764 jet liners with a collective price tag of $144 billion, figures the Aerospace Industries Assn. of America Inc. (AIA), a Washington-based trade association. By comparison, Chinese airlines currently operate 548 jet aircraft, 357 of which were made by U.S. manufacturers. The projected demand figure means "China will be the world's second-largest market for airplanes over the next two decades, second only to the U.S.," says John W. Douglass, AIA's president and CEO. But aircraft aren't the only flying market opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. "We estimate that China plans to purchase $3 billion in communications satellites and related equipment over the next 10 years," Douglass relates. "Just as the lack of ground transportation forces reliance on air transport, the fact that China's ground-based communications network is quite primitive means that it will have to rely heavily on satellite-based systems for telecommunications, Internet, and television requirements."