Special Report: 17th CPC National Congress
Li Changjiang, director of China's
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine,
who is also a delegate to the 17th National Congress of the Communist
Party of China, answers questions of journalists from home and abroad in
Beijing, capital of China on Oct. 17, 2007.(Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's product quality inspection chief on
Wednesday encouraged overseas manufacturers to organize toy imports from China
as early as possible to make sure that kids in their countries could land nice
and reasonably-priced toys for Christmas.
"China strongly opposes some countries using product quality as a pretense
to practice trade protectionism," said Director Li Changjiang of the General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. "This (trade
protectionism) not only affects China but also benefits no other countries."
In an obvious allusion to the United States, Li said, "I heard the prices
of Barbie Dolls in the American market would rise 10 percent. It would be the
result of market force when demand beats supply. The restrictions on Chinese
products are not conducive to both local market and people."
China, the world's largest toy manufacturer controlling nearly 60 percent
of global toy trade, has come under spotlight amid a spate of export toy
recalls, the recent one by the U.S. toy maker Mattel which this summer staged
three separate recalls of China-made toys.
The company later vindicated the reputation of Chinese toy makers,
admitting that 87 percent of the recalls were found to have loose magnets --
actually a design defect by Mattel itself, while only 13 percent contained
excessive lead. Anyway, there remain questions over the quality of China-made
The U.S. authorities once again recalled China-made key rings and toys
alleged of containing excessive lead.
Li, a delegate to the ongoing 17th National Congress of the Communist Party
of China, said that the recent product quality turbulence had once thrown
Chinese toy makers into unfavorable conditions. To remove the worries from
abroad, the administration had organized several factory tours for foreign media
to south China's Guangdong Province.
In one company which employs about 40,000 people, Li said he was told the
company's business was barely affected and orders were not dwindling. "That was
an evidence of the credibility of Made-in-China, because a majority of China's
toy exports are up-to-standard," he said.
This month, one deputy director of the administration would go to the
United States to consult with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and
the Food and Drug Administration on a memorandum of understanding to expand
cooperation on product safety.
Apart from calling for global cooperation, the Chinese government has
staged a massive product quality check at home, revoking the export licenses of
more than 100 companies.
In the latest efforts, more than 1,000 people from China's toy-making
industry attended government-sponsored training courses in Guangdong from Oct.
12 to 14. Government officials and executives of transnational firms were
invited to give lectures on toy certificate systems, and export test regulations
and standards in China, the United States and Europe.
According to Li, China has planned to establish a comprehensive network to
track the production of food and other products and remove quality loopholes
from the very first link of design and the source of raw material supply.
Farm produce wholesale markets in large and medium-sized cities will be put
under quality scrutiny while all food processing enterprises will be certified.
Small food workshops will be required to sign a letter of commitment with the
government to ensure product quality. Supermarkets and canteens above county
level must only have business connections only with designated slaughterhouses.
Manufacturers of ten kinds of products ranging from household appliances,
toys for kids, production protectives, automobile components, low-pressure
electronics, steel products for construction, fasteners, cable and wire, and
gas-fired utensils will be put in a special file for product quality, he