BEIJING, Nov. 8 -- The world still trusts the quality
of China's products despite a string of recalls in recent months, a senior
Chinese official has said.
"During the first eight months of this year, China's
exports grew by 23.3 percent, which shows that our exports have not been hit by
these recalls," said Wei Chuanzhong, vice minister of the General Administration
of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
Speaking at a press conference in the Chinese embassy
in Washington DC on Monday, he said: "Some Chinese manufacturers said they had
received even more orders and their workers are busy trying to meet them."
Wei stressed that the Chinese government had
strengthened measures to ensure product safety.
Some of the toys recalled in the U.S. were because of
real quality and safety concerns. But the majority of them were recalled because
of design faults or the difference between safety standards in China and the
U.S., he said.
U.S.-based toy giant Mattel has recalled about 22
million China-made toys this year. But it apologized formally to China because a
vast majority of the recalls were because of design flaws.
In another development, the deputy director of
AQSIQ's import and export food safety bureau, Li Chaowei, said China is eager to
learn from advanced global experiences in food quality management, including the
European Union's rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) and the US food
"Apart from increasing trade globalization we also
have to become more familiar with the food management systems of other countries
and regions to improve the quality of exports," Li told a three-day workshop on
RASFF in Beijing Tuesday.
The RASFF notifies not only member states, but also
other countries of problem goods to ensure their removal from shelves and
protect consumers, head of the alert system Jose Luis de Felipe said.
It has sent officials to Bangkok, Buenos Aires and
Beijing this year to help have such a system in place. "The idea behind these
seminars is first of all to share our experience with other countries," De
Felipe told a news conference.
"The long-term intention is to create some kind of
regional network, like we have in the EU, in order to create a worldwide alert
system, which can be set up and probably managed by the World Health
Organization with (the help of other) international institutions," he said.
Li said China, too, has a similar food safety alert
system but international collaboration is important.
China takes food safety seriously and has begun a
nationwide campaign, but "there still is a long way to go".
Several government departments in China are
responsible for food safety, and they have their own networks for information
exchange and communication, he said.
"We need a more integrated information exchange
network on the national level to ensure food safety and a rapid response," he
(Source: China Daily/Agencies)