FM deflects Obama's toy boycott threat

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-12-21 07:06

China's Foreign Ministry refuted an attack on Chinese toys by a would-be presidential candidate Thursday, dismissing such outbursts as "irrational and unobjective".

US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would ban all toys made in China and called for tougher US inspections of Chinese products.

"That some Chinese products are substandard does not justify taking a part for the whole and criticizing all Chinese products," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday in response to Obama's remarks.

"Some American products also have quality problems, so can we take it as an excuse to ban the imports of all American products?" Qin said.

He noted the Chinese government has long attached great importance to product quality and launched a series of laws and regulations to better control the entire production process.

More than 1,000 Chinese toy makers have been stripped of exporting licenses since the government initiated a campaign to eliminate substandard toys in August.

In the latest move to ensure higher product safety, the government has announced that, come January, all toys on the market must have the China Compulsory Certification.

Paint manufacturers will also be required to ensure their products contain only a permissible amount of lead.

"As Christmas approaches, we hope US consumers can use Chinese products at ease and the products can add to the festive atmosphere," Qin said.

Between 70 and 80 percent of toys sold in the United States are made in China, according to the US Toy Industry Association.

China exported $4.1 billion worth of toys in the first seven months of the year, $1.7 billion worth to the United States, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Friendship now the norm

Commenting on the ongoing China-India joint military exercise in Yunnan Province, Qin Gang said the drill will promote mutual trust and understanding.

He said friendly cooperation has become "mainstream" in China-India relations despite unresolved border disputes.

It is normal for the two neighbors to have some differences, Qin said. "Japan and the United States are allies, but do they see eye to eye with each other on everything?"

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