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Vice Premier Urges Improvement in Quality of China-made Products

Vice Premier Wu Yi demanded that quality supervisors and inspectors nationwide be fully aware of the new challenge posed by the internationalization and politicization of quality problems.

She made the remarks at a national quality supervision and inspection work conference held on Thursday in Beijing. At the meeting, Wu called for continuous quality improvement for Chinese products.

She affirmed the achievements that have been made by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine since it was established seven years ago.

Wu said that at present, and for some time to come, efforts should be exerted to build and improve upon a market access system and a recall and notification system for defective products. Supervision should be extended over the entire process of production and marketing of industrial goods and food, she added.

Work related to food safety and consumer goods safety, particularly during the Olympics this coming summer, should be intensified, Wu said.

She stressed that standardization should be enhanced, obsolete criteria should be upgraded and more international criteria should be adopted.

Quality supervision and inspection of both imported and exported items should be reinforced, she added.

According to Wu, international communication and cooperation should be enhanced regarding quality supervision and inspections.

In 2007, "Made in China" experienced an unprecedented "confidence crisis," triggered by the recall of China-made toys by Mattel Inc. of the United States. This incident was followed by others in which Chinese exporters encountered quality problems with toys, toothpaste and food.

The reasons for the recalls were not just quality defects. Behind them were disputes over standards, technical barriers, trade protectionism and playing-up of media coverage.

However, China was determined to restore confidence in its products with a four-month nation-wide special campaign to rectify product quality and food safety.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2008)

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