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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
China's Hu in product safety vow
Chinese President Hu Jintao
Chinese leaders are under pressure over the issue
Chinese President Hu Jintao has said Beijing takes the issue of product safety seriously and will work with others to improve inspection measures.

A series of recalls of Chinese-made exports, the latest by toymaker Mattel, has put Chinese production methods and safety standards under scrutiny.

Mr Hu said that 99% of food exported to the US, Japan and Europe over the past three years was up to standard.

US lawmakers have called for rigorous inspections of Chinese imports.

'Working together'

Mattel's recall of three quarter of a million toys, the third such move in the past month, followed scares involving other Chinese goods ranging from tyres to toothpaste.

Although Beijing has revoked the manufacturing licences of a number of firms found to have violated procedures it has been accused of being slow to react to the problem.

Critics say that the systems are in place to test for dangerous substances in goods but they are not being implemented efficiently.

But speaking in Sydney during talks with the Australian Prime Minister, President Hu said the government took allegations of safety lapses "very seriously" and had conducted "very serious investigations" in individual cases.

"The Chinese side is willing and ready to work together with the international community to step up co-operation in quality inspections and examinations," he said.

The Chinese leader added that, in a global marketplace, product safety was an issue facing the entire international community.

Mattel spokesman pledges to step up quality checks

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