Foreign diplomats were given a tour of Shenzhen's port and a
selection of local toy and garment factories yesterday to witness
stringent safety and security measures in operation.
The diplomats were shown quarantine inspectors opening export
containers to inspect goods and then laboratories conducting
quality tests on toys.
The tour at the booming southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong,
attracted 22 diplomats from the European Commission and 14
countries, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia,
Argentina, New Zealand and South Korea.
The diplomats were also shown officers conducting on-the-spot
inspections of import/export products such as canned fruit, frozen
meat, Christmas lights, furniture and flower seeds, at the Yantian
Port, the country's largest container facility.
Officers opened each container and randomly took out samples to
check their batch number, product category, and required
certificates. Each inspection took about 15 minutes.
Qu Haifeng, deputy director of the Shenzhen entry-exit
inspection and quarantine bureau, said it was mandatory that every
food shipment abroad must go through such an inspection. For other
products that do not directly affect human health, random checks
At China Silk Enterprise Ltd, which makes clothes for
international brands such as Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein, and Early
Light International Ltd, the world's largest original equipment
manufacturer of toys, diplomats showed keen interest in the
rigorous quality control and tests conducted in the laboratories of
"I'm very impressed by the quality and high technology involved
in the production of the toys," Bart Pennewaert, first secretary at
the Belgian Embassy in China, said.
Referring to recent reports of unsafe Chinese products,
Pennewaert said it was easy to be "negatively effected as a
manufacturing country", but what he saw made him confident of
The Made in China label has suffered much damage since March
when contaminated additives from the country tainted pet food in
The recent three recalls of Chinese-made toys by Mattel, the
world's largest toy-maker, have also caused concern ahead of the
Christmas shopping period.
Guangdong has been most affected by the toy recall
It is home to 5,000 toy-making companies, and accounted for
about 80 percent of the country's toy exports last year.
"That's why we have invited the diplomats here," Wei Chuanzhong,
vice-minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine, said.
He said the tour offers diplomats a true picture of Chinese
manufacturing and government supervision. It could be a regular
event in the future.
William Westman, agricultural counselor at the US Embassy, said
the tour was a valuable opportunity to know more about Chinese
"I believe such an exchange is necessary. It's been a nice,
interesting tour," he said.
Many diplomats expressed their confidence in Chinese products
and spoke highly of the recent moves taken by the government to
"I've never had a problem with the Made in China label," Les
Kumor, a counselor at the Canadian Embassy, said.
"China views the issue very seriously and has been working quite
aggressively to improve it. You're definitely moving in the right
Maria Isabel Rendon, minister counselor at the Argentina
Embassy, said the recent negative reports had not affected
confidence in Chinese products in her country.
She said it was common for problems to emerge from time to
"But the most important thing is that you're trying to improve
it," She said.
(China Daily September 26, 2007)