China Embarrassed by Reports of Sub-standard Goods Imported to Africa, Says Official

Michael Olugbode

The Chinese Government has said it is embarrassed by reports of substandard products imported into Africa from China.

The government equally expressed its readiness to punish any Chinese construction company executing substandard projects in Africa.

Speaking to African journalists in Beijing on a programme organized by the 

China International Press Communication Center Monday, the Director of the Department of African Affairs, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wu Peng, said: “There is no doubt about the Chinese Government always advocating that Chinese should respect African culture and follow the rule of law of the local country. 

“We also encourage all our Chinese nationals and the companies working, operating and living in Africa to be socially responsible to local communities. But there is always some bad apples that do some very bad things. I condemn this kind of misbehaviour, but these are isolated cases and does not represent China.

“Just like we welcome African people in China, we cannot just criminalize 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 imported to Africa is a commercial issue, adding that: “Many African businessmen go into China to procure lot of items and then take it 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.”

Peng added that he believed that this has changed a lot in recent years because if one visits Africa, a lot of high level products from China are found. 

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, noting that: “This is not good for the reputation of Chinese products. 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.”

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