November 22, 2002

Tech Standards to Hit Int'l Level

China Sunday unveiled an ambitious plan to upgrade most of its national technical standards for industrial products so they can be up to the international level within five years.

Li Zhonghai, chief of the Standardization Administration of China, told a meeting in Beijing Sunday that China will adopt at least 2,000 such international standards each year.

In five years, up to 80 percent of China's key industrial products should be produced in line with international standards.

The World Trade Organization's Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade requires that a member's standardizing body use existing international standards as a basis for the standards it develops, Li told the country's first ever national conference on the adoption of international standards.

Li's agency promised in April this year to fully comply with the WTO "code of good practice for the preparation, adoption and application of standards."

"China has adopted 6,300 -- or 38 percent -- of the existing 16,745 standards of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and International Electro-technical Commission (IEC)," he said.

The remaining standards, if applicable, will be adopted in China within five years, Li said.

Chinese officials and experts have increasingly blamed the country's poor quality of products and slow export growth largely on a low level of standards, rather than backward equipment and technology.

China's electric tools used to be poor in terms of both quality and safety, according to Li. The situation changed when China adopted 82 percent of the IEC standards on electric tools.

China is now the world's largest exporter and producer of such products and exported US$1.2 billion of electric tools last year, the China Electrical Appliance Industry Association said.

In fact, 43.7 percent of China's 19,744 national standards -- guo biao in Chinese and shortened to GB -- published by the end of last year are based on international standards and advanced foreign standards, said sources with the Standardization Administration of China.

Li said: "China will adopt international standards -- whether it be ISO, IEC, International Telecommunications Union, or Codex Alimentarius Commission standards -- as soon as possible."

(China Daily July 29, 2002)

In This Series
More Int'l Standards Should Be Adopted: State Councilor

Quality Norm of Goods at Int'l Level by 2005

China to Introduce New Industrial Standards



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