Made-in-China gifts affordable and safe, quality official says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am

The nation's top product-quality official yesterday urged US parents to buy 'nice and inexpensive' made-in-China toys as Christmas gifts for their children, saying the central government had taken effective measures to ensure toy quality.

'I'm very confident that with all the [inspection] measures we have taken, China-made toys are safe and of good quality,' said Li Changjiang , director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Speaking on the sidelines of the third China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue in Xianghe, Hebei province , Mr Li cited his personal tour of a Guangdong factory to support his claim.

'That company, whose products have never been recalled since it started production in 1997, has reported a 10 per cent surge in Christmas orders,' Mr Li said. 'It shows that nice and inexpensive China-made toys are still very popular in western markets.'

His remarks came at the end of a year in which mainland-made toys and other products have been repeatedly pulled off the international market for safety reasons, shaking consumer confidence.

Mr Li admitted that some factories were responsible for exporting low-quality goods, but he also took aim at the US for the problems.

'Our statistics show that about 85 per cent of toy recalls in the US were caused by design problems ... that's why we say it takes mutual effort to solve the issue,' he said.

Mr Li, a member of the mainland's dialogue delegation, said representatives from both sides showed real concerns in improving product and food safety.

'We have eight ministers from both sides giving speeches on this issue and I think we had a warm exchange on that,' Mr Li said, declining to comment on whether there was any disagreement among the delegates.