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China becomes ISO permanent member
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China on Friday became the sixth permanent member of the International Standard Organization (ISO), 30 years after joining.

The breakthrough was made after the organization decided to expand its number of permanent members at the 31st ISO general assembly in Dubai, China's Standardization Administration (SAC) announced in a statement on Friday.

The permanent membership came 12 years ahead of the goal set in the SAC's development plan, which included enhancing China's right to speak on international standard issues by 2020.

The six permanent members of the organization can vote on decisions concerning product standards worldwide, together with the 14 non-permanent members, which are elected every three years and are prohibited from serving consecutive terms.

The SAC had actively encouraged Chinese enterprises to participate in international standard activities, and raised the country's contribution ranking to sixth, higher than many developed countries, the statement said.

Contribution is calculated by the number of technology committees, sub-committees and working groups in which the member nation participated, the number of international standards it drafted and the total fees paid.

The achievement was the result of joint efforts made by the foreign, commerce, finance and science and technology ministries and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the statement said.

ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries.

As international trade flourished, the establishment of international standards became more important, and ISO gained increasing recognition around the world.

"China's entry into a permanent membership of the organization would boost its influence in the organization. From now on, China will have a say in ISO affairs," said Li Fengyun from the China Metallurgical Information and Standardization Research Institute.

The original ISO permanent members are the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Japan.

(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2008)

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