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Quality Control Key to International Trade
An internationally recognized quality control system is the key to upgrading China's products and breaking technical trade barriers, government officials said yesterday.

Within three years, China expects to have adopted all standards, except those it deems unfit, set by the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), said Wang Fengqing, vice-director of the Standardization Administration of China.

IEC is the leading global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. China joined the IEC in 1957.

"We have so far adopted 1,911, or 45.8 percent of IEC standards. By the end of 2005, China will have translated all the remaining IEC standards, excluding those not applicable to China, into its national standards," said Wang.

Speaking on the eve of the 66th IEC General Meeting, scheduled to be held in Beijing between October 27 and November 1, Wang said more and more Chinese producers and consumers have come to understand that standardized quality guarantees are an integral part of life.

Wang, who is also chairperson of the IEC's China National Committee, said a standards system would contribute to improving the quality of products and services, the protection of human health, safety and the environment.

Partly because some of its technical standards are lower than in developed countries, China has seen its exports increasingly blocked by an ever-rising threshold, especially after it joined the World Trade Organization last year, said Wang.

To effectively address the increasing instances of technical trade barriers, Chinese manufacturers will speed up adopting internationally established advanced standards, she added.

Manufacturers will present their products for certification and assessment of conformity to the set standards, said Wang.

By the end of last year, China had issued 19,774 national standards, 8,621 or 43.7 percent of which were adopted from international standards, statistics from the Standardization Administration of China indicated.

Li Zhonghai, chief of the national agency, had earlier said China will adopt at least 2,000 international standards each year in respect of domestic use during the next five years.

By then up to 80 percent of the country's key industrial products will have been produced in line with international standards, said Li.

In addition, the country will revise its existing national standards.

Half of the country's 8,000 national standards, formulated before 1998, will have been revised or eliminated by the end of this year, according to Wang.

China has set up 258 special technical commissions and employed 27,000 specialists to draft various technical standards, she revealed.

(China Daily October 22, 2002)

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