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"Made in China": turning challenge into opportunity
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15:11, July 17, 2007

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In recent days the international media have been boiling with news of quality problems in products "made in China," on which words like "poisonous toothpaste," "shoddy tires", "lead toys," and "aquatic products containing anti-bacteria agents" popped up frequently.

The reasons behind a credit crisis befalling Chinese products, this time, are complicated. For example, those who stirred up a "china threat" in recent years have taken this opportunity for a malicious attack. In addition, some western countries have raised their product standards. However, what consumers are most concerned with has always been the quality of products "made in China;" their lives have been caught up in the fast expansion of Chinese products. Wasn't there an American journalist who tried a life without Chinese commodities? Her experiment failed after one year, and her conclusion was: such a life is difficult to maintain.

As increasingly more Chinese products appear in foreign supermarkets, retail stores, and restaurants, and become globally known brands; foreign customers naturally began to pick and choose. Most Chinese commodities that initially entered western markets were cheap items in large baskets at supermarkets. Now, however, people look at Chinese products in the same way they look at American and Japanese products.

Currently China exports over ten thousand types of commodities. Among such a multitude of goods, each deal is made after careful discussion between exporters and importers on qualifications, quality and other aspects. Therefore one is justified in saying that products exported from China live up to standards of importers and their states, as well as pass legal examination. Chinese products are generally recognized and accepted by sellers and consumers of importing countries. Problems with a few products should not significantly affect Chinese exports.

Manufacturing is crucial for a rising, developing nation like China. Manufacturing represents the country's hard strength and simultaneously determines China's international image. For more than two decades since its reform and opening, China has been relying heavily on manufacturing for economic development and will continue to do so. To improve the reputation of products "made in China," product quality must first be improved. If we can look at recent problems with products "made in China" overseas as both a challenge and an opportunity; ensure that "made in China" becomes a standard in America and Europe and China's food standards are high worldwide; and international consumers enjoy high-quality products "made in China;" then we will not have to fear any media hype!

By People's Daily senior editor Ding Gang; translated by People's Daily Online

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