SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, is reportedly aiming to sign a deal for the sale of 20 commercial jets to a Chinese airline during President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to China this week, according to two sources familiar with the matter. 

If successful, the deal would represent a significant breakthrough for Embraer in China, where the company has struggled to secure new business since the 2016 closure of its joint venture with Chinese group Avic at a factory in Harbin.

The joint venture, established in 2003 during Lula's first presidential term, produced a previous generation of regional jets and Legacy 650 executive jets. To date, Embraer has delivered 110 commercial aircraft to Chinese airlines, including 70 to Hainan Airlines and 20 to China Southern, as disclosed in securities filings. The company has not received a new order from a Chinese airline since its departure from Harbin in 2016.

At the end of last year, ICBC Financial Leasing, a subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, had taken delivery of five out of the 10 next-generation E-195-E2 aircraft on order, according to an Embraer filing.