Premier Zhu Rongji urged China to buck the world economic slowdown by drumming out fake and shoddy products and exploring new products to keep exports up.
The Chinese leader said the central government will continue this year's clampdown on illicit businesses creating phony products and ripping off trademarks of well-known brands.
Zhu, on a one-week tour of Southwest China's Guizhou Province last week, also mentioned the restructuring of debt-ridden State-owned enterprises, environmental protection and reform of the social security network as keys to keeping the economy in good shape.
Of all of these matters, however, Zhu stressed counterfeit and poor-quality merchandise as one of the economy's biggest threats.
The nation's crackdown should be further strengthened, Zhu insisted.
Plants and markets where fakes are produced and distributed around the country should be eliminated, he said.
Experts have warned inaction on this issue may stifle consumer spending. The public complains constantly about the proliferation of fake and shoddy goods.
That could harm domestic consumption, a major contributor to China's strong economic growth. It is important that consumption remains robust because China is likely to face a slowdown in the global economy, which will limit exports, Zhu said.
The crackdown is also key as China moves closer to joining the World Trade Organization, which sets rules for global trade. The entry, expected by year's end, will commit China to following global practices by providing a level playing field within China for investors from both home and abroad.
The environment was also a major issue for Zhu, who called for the closure of small businesses that ignore national concerns about keeping the ecology clean and not exploiting natural resources in an inappropriate way. Lawbreakers must be shut down, especially coal mines, said Zhu, adding that business licensees should be granted only if such enterprises observe strict safety and environmental standards.
Several coalmine explosions have been reported in the country in the last few months.
Local authorities must do their part, Zhu said. If they don't, the premier warned, they should lose their jobs and their money.
(People's Daily 08/21/2001)