A loan agreement for $28.4 million to the Bank of China from the Export-Import Bank of the United States was signed last week, marking the first Eximbank loan to assist U.S. export sales to the People's Republic of China. Officiating for Bank of China was bank vice chairman and vice president Wang Weicai.

"Through this loan," said Eximbank president and chairman William H. Draper III, "we are taking an important step in the development of commercial relations between our two nations."

The loan will enable the purchase of $37.9 million in power generation equipment and services by China Machine Building International Corp. (CMIC) and China National Electrical Equipment Corp. (CNEEC), to be supplied by Combustion Engineering. Along with a companion sale by Westinghouse, the transaction will upgrade China's capacity to produce large electric-power-generating equipment at facilities in Shanghai and Harbin. A second loan, of $28.7 million to assist the Westinghouse sale, has been approved and is expected to be signed in the near future.

Eximbank formalized a relationship with Bank of China last May, when the two banks signed operating and overall credit agreements in Peking. Eximbank has been open for business in China since April 1980. For the current loan, China will pay 8 3/4 percent interest annually, with the loan to be repaid in 10 semiannual installments beginning August 1985.

Combustion Engineering's contract calls for almost 850 months of training for Chinese personnel in the U.S. and more than 75 months of training in China by CE technicians. Westinghouse will furnish 2,000 months of training for Chinese personnel, and its technicians will provide 55 months of services in China.

In addition to the recent Eximbank loan, First National Bank of Chicago will provide a $3.79 million loan in support of the same project without Eximbank's guarantee.