Sunday, July 08, 2007

Eh-hum # 179


Amazing as it seems, I am not particularly impressed with China's fast economic development. The reason? Compromising quality and safety standards over inexpensive exports and high profits. The discovery of defected products (pet food, toothpaste, toy trains, seafood, and tires) from China over the last few months in the US market is indeed alarming. Now, the US (and perhaps soon, other trade partners as well) is breathing down China's neck, demanding the country to strengthen its regulatory system (or perhaps make one) and strictly enforce safety standards in products intended for US consumption. I think not only for US/international markets, but even goods used by its own citizens; I remembered watching a segment on CNN wherein a significant number of Chinese were admitted to hospitals after consuming local goods.

Perhaps it would be also too simplistic to blame the product scares entirely on China; US import companies should also be vigilant of their own regulations before distributing defective and potentially deadly in the market. However, if China wants to be considered as a major player in international economy (and to be truly deserving of the title "emerging economic power"), then it should shape up (stronger regulation and perhaps more legal accountability) and show the world that the "Made in China" sign is not something to cause for alarm.

Editorial cartoon from TIME.

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