The Chinese government on Monday said it was embarrassed by reports of substandard products exported to Africa from China, expressing it readiness to punish any Chinese company found culpable in the practice.
Speaking to select journalists from Africa who are in Beijing on a programme organised by the China International Press Communication Centre, Director of the Department of African Affairs, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wu Peng said, “There is no doubt about it, the Chinese government always advocate that Chinese should respect African culture and follow the rule of law of local country.
“We also encourage all our Chinese nationals and companies working, operating and living in Africa to be socially responsible to local communities, but there are always some bad apples that do bad things. I condemn this kind of misbehaviour but these are isolated cases and does not represent the Chinese.
“Just like we welcome African people in China, we cannot just criminalise Africa by the criminality of few Africans. Africa should accord the same view about the few Chinese involved in criminal activities in Africa.
“If Chinese people violate the rule of law in Africa, it is a very bad thing and we condemn it. We also respect your own rule of law to handle this kind of cases. We do not have to turn issues like this into political issues and allow it to affect our bilateral relationship. It is isolated case and should be treated in accordance with the rule of law of African countries. It is simple.”
He said the issue of substandard products from China exported to Africa was a commercial issue.
“Many African businessmen go into China to procure lots of items and then take them into Africa and some buy some stocks through e-commerce to Africa, but whether this product made in China is of quality or not must meet the national standard, from the Chinese official point of view we have procedure of goods exported into China.
“Of course I cannot deny sometimes because the price is different, some quality of the products may not measure up to expectations of African consumers but I believe we from both sides need to work together to change this situation,” he said.
He insisted that Chinese products around the world now enjoy the reputation of low price but high quality.
He however admitted that there are isolated cases of inferior products.
“This is not good for the reputation of Chinese product. We hate it as well because it damages the Chinese image. And that is why we have to work together to fight against counterfeit, fake or illegal smuggling of products into Africa,” he added.
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