The hyping and exaggeration of the peril of Chinese-made products is not only an act of shortsightedness that fails to see the bigger picture, but also detrimental to the settlement of existing problems in bilateral trade.
In its annually published list of dangerous products detected in 2015 released Monday, the European Commission accused China of supplying 62 percent, or the largest share of the notified dangerous products sold in the European Union (EU), saying China "remains the number one country of origin" in its Rapid Alert System.
There is no denying that such an accusation poses an embarrassment to China's effort to curb the manufacturing and export of counterfeit and dangerous commodities, which is attributable to the loopholes in regulation and supervision system in China. It also rings the alarm to the Chinese manufacturers that put cost-cutting above the more worthy issue of quality improvement, in their bid to gain an edge in the highly competitive European market.
But it is also fair to say that those keen on ballyhooing the potential peril of Made-in-China goods have either by design or accident lost sight of the fact that the proportion of hazardous Chinese exports is merely a drop in the bucket considering the magnitude and momentum of the booming China-EU trade exchange. Moreover, those inferior goods can neither define the image of China's exports nor dampen their popularity and China's pursuit of craftsmanship in production.
It is also worth noting that the criteria adopted by the EU and China for identifying hazardous goods are not quite the same. As both sides are engaged in dialogues to promote the docking of quality detection standards, the hasty and one-sided reproach of China's products will only fan fears and fuel prejudiced trade policies.
China is mulling stricter regulations to ensure the safety of exports and online sales and promote their traceability to enhance quality supervision. To better its coordination with Europe, China took the initiative to exchange information about specific dangerous goods with the EU in 2006. Bilateral communication in this regard will continue to further cooperation to avoid safety risks of online sales of consumer products.
Thanks to the stepped-up collaboration of both sides, the share of dangerous consumer products of Chinese origin in Europe decreased from 64 percent in 2014 to 62 percent in 2015.
But to improve the profile of Made-in-China products, the fundamental solution is to increase technological input to help promote industrial upgrading and the quality of products so that Chinese goods can shake off the stereotyped image of being low-end and cheap.
As the EU's largest source of imports, China has supplied commodities of enticing quality and prices for the European consumers. Instead of improving the competitiveness of European-made daily commodities, the fear-mongering and defaming rhetoric against Chinese products may lead to price hikes at the cost of ordinary European consumers and obstruct both sides' efforts to solve the quality problem.
It is highly hoped that Europe could engage with China in exploring constructive means to enhance the quality of Chinese products, instead of making unwarranted charges that hurt the interests of the two sides.