Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan on Sunday welcomed the joint
determination of China and the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) to enhance cooperation on product quality
Zeng made the remark at the first China-ASEAN ministers'
conference on quality supervision, the opening of which, he said,
marks the official launch of a China-ASEAN ministerial-level
consultation and cooperation mechanism on quality supervision.
Such a mechanism will play a major role in "addressing issues of
common concern relating to product quality and food safety,
facilitating the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area,
and boosting rapid and healthy economic development in China and
ASEAN members, he said.
"Strengthening cooperation in quality supervision concerns the
healthy economic development in China and the ASEAN, as well as the
livelihood of their 1.8 billion people," Zeng added.
China and the ten ASEAN members have already signed more than 40
bilateral cooperation agreements on product quality supervision,
inspection and quarantine, standardization, and related capacity
building and personnel training, contributing to the promotion of
bilateral relations and regional economic development and the
protection of consumers' rights and benefits, said the vice
He stressed "it is the common responsibility of the
international community to improve product quality and ensure food
safety," to which the Chinese government always attaches great
To reach the goal, China has promulgated 33 laws and regulations
and formulated more than 21,000 national standards. Related product
accreditation and authentication systems have also been
While giving more severe punishment to producers and wholesalers
of substandard products, China has launched a national campaign to
tackle issues concerning product quality and food safety.
During the four-month national campaign ending this December,
China had destroyed 667 tons of unqualified or fake food products
and ordered 446 tons to be removed from the market by October
The campaign, the latest effort of China to ensure the quality
of domestic products, targets farm produce, processed food, the
catering sector, drugs, pork, imported and exported goods and other
products closely linked to human safety and health.
The Chinese have made major achievements in the sphere of
product quality and food safety, said the vice premier, citing the
results of recent sample surveys that from 2004 to 2006, more than
99 percent of China's food products exported to the United States,
Japan and Europe were qualified, along with 90 percent to 95
percent of the daily consumer goods and basic food products sold at
the Chinese market.
"All this fully shows that China-made products are trustworthy,"
On Sunday, China also put forward an eight-point proposal for
further cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) in food safety.
China and the ASEAN should increase cooperation and exchanges in
the field of food safety and jointly shoulder the responsibility of
ensure their food products are safe, said Chinese senior quality
inspector Wei Chuanzhong.
The two sides should promote exchanges in their laws and
regulations, standards and information about food safety, and make
them more transparent, said Wei, deputy director of China's General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and
Wei also proposed both China and the ASEAN should increase the
exchange of visits by food safety managers and technical personnel
to improve their level of management and technical support.
The two sides should establish liaison for providing with each
other timely information related to food safety, Wei said in a
keynote speech at the first meeting of China-ASEAN ministers of
quality supervision and inspection, held in the southern China city
Under Wei's proposal, any side which is to take new safety
measures on food products should inform the other side in
His proposal also covers the responsibility of both sides for
supervision to ensure safety of each other's food products, the
crackdown on illegal food trade and consultations at the
department- level every two years over the safety of food products
for import and export.
"Based on the above-mentioned eight-point proposal, the Chinese
side has drafted the Nanning Joint Statement and hoped it would be
adopted at the meeting," he said.
Wei did not slide over the problems in some Chinese products,
citing two Chinese companies' illegal act to add melamine in the
raw material of pet food exported to the US market, as well as the
excessive lead content in the paint of some toys Chinese companies
produced for US toy giant Mattel despite the difference in Chinese
and foreign standards for product quality and safety.
It is a lasting theme of human society to improve product
quality and ensure product safety, he said, adding that this calls
for more international exchanges and cooperation, including timely
providing media with objective and accurate information and
avoiding politicalization of product quality and safety.
(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2007)