Development Blueprint
Economic Achievement
Key Figure
Product quality being ensured
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
2007-10-18 07:19

The country is enforcing strict export standards to regain full consumer confidence in Chinese products after reports of substandard goods, a top product safety official said Wednesday.

Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, faces a medis scrum after a group interview at the Media center of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on October 17, 2007. [newsphoto]

Despite a wave of recalls, orders for Chinese toys are on the rise in the run-up to Christmas, said Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

He made the remarks during a group interview on the sidelines of the ongoing 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Li said factory owners in the manufacturing heartland of Guangdong Province told him that business was booming and "the workers have to work overtime to meet the order deadlines".

"The number of orders for toys shows that companies are still happy to manufacture in China," Li said. "Most of the toys exports are of good quality and substandard goods constitute only a tiny part".

Li said the authorities will step up supervision and intensify crackdowns on illegally-made products.

"China will provide safe and reliable toys to children around the world," he said.

Li urged importers to buy more Chinese toys, adding: "I wish children around the world a Merry Christmas."

According to Li, officials have taken substantive measures to ensure that goods are made by certified manufacturers with quality materials.

The State Council, or the Cabinet, launched a four-month nationwide product and food safety campaign in August.

There are checks at various stages of production, Li said, and authorities will also make it easier for exporters with good quality records to quickly pass customs inspections.

He noted that quality problems are a global issue and criticized some media and foreign governments for "playing up the issue".

"I am sorry to see that some countries have used this (product quality issue) for trade protectionism and trade conflicts," Li said.

"It not only affects China but also benefits no other country," Li said, commenting on price rises of toys in some countries as a result of short supply.

"I heard that the prices of Barbie dolls in the American market are expected to rise 10 percent. The restrictions on Chinese products are not conducive to the local market and people," he said, apparently referring to the United States.

China is the world's largest toy manufacturer, and exports about 20 billion toys every year, contributing to nearly 60 percent of global toy trade. But it has come under the spotlight amid a spate of export toy recalls this year.

The world's biggest toymaker, Mattel Inc, recalled about 21 million of its Chinese-made toys. A senior Mattel executive last month apologized to China for the trouble the recall had caused, an action Li praised.

"We think this is a practical and responsible attitude."

Li said that 87 percent of Mattel's recalled toys had design problems.

"But of course, some of the recalled toys have excessive lead," he said, adding that inspections of lead paint will be strengthened to meet advanced global standards.

Li said Beijing and Washington have been in close contact on the quality issue.

"This month, I will send my deputy to talk with officials with the US Food and Drug Administration... on signing a memorandum on food safety," Li said.


  Hu Jintao -- General Secretary of CPC Central Committee
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