TELEDYNE Electronic Technologies, a former research arm of the United States Military, is expecting double-digit sales growth in hi-tech exports to China and a possible manufacturing base on the mainland once the country's technology has matured. The US company located in the Mecca of technology - Silicon Valley in California - is rapidly expanding its sales of satellite, aviation and other industrial products to the mainland at a yearly turnover of about US$25 million. All of the telecommunication and aviation products sold use defence related technology once classified by the US army. Exports of many items to China were embargoed by the US government as recently as two years ago. 'It used to be very difficult to export any technology to China as far as the US is concerned even though the technology might already be widely used in the domestic market,' Teledyne manager Richard Sun said. 'About two years ago, the satellite switch that we are now selling to the mainland was still on the forbidden list,' he said. Lured by an increasingly lucrative market, the US lifted many of the sanctions to avoid losing out to the German, French, British and Japanese firms already supplying hi-tech products to China. The company sells satellite parts, aircraft black-boxes, industrial metal and gas, environmental equipment and industrial instruments. Major clients are government departments, state-owned enterprises or research institutions but private companies lag in their demand for sophisticated aerospace and industrial products. For most of the aviation and instrumentation products, an annual average growth of 15 per cent has been recorded by Teledyne over the past four years. Turnover is forecast to rise at 20 per cent a year in the next two years, prompted by the country's industrial and telecommunication boom. A total of US$400,000 worth of satellite switches was exported to China last year and the telecommunications boom would push sales to about $1 million in the next few months, Mr Sun said. A co-operative project is underway, involving a private mainland company in the production of hydrogen generators in Suzhou. The venture involves the setting up of assembly lines by the Chinese partner while Teledyne provides the training and technological know-how. The plant is expected to turn out 25 to 30 units of industrial-use generator each year, with top models priced at US$300,000 to $400,000 per unit. Mr Sun believed that in five to 10 years, China's satellite and aerospace technology would be mature enough to manufacture satellites on its own. That would be the right time for the company to relocate its satellite manufacturing base to the mainland, he added.