Wu Peng, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, has stressed the need for the Rule of Law to tackle issues about substandard products in Africa.
Wu said this at his interactive session with African Journalists under auspices of the China Africa Press Centre (CAPC) Programme 2022, which began in June in Beijing.
He decried the situation where there was alleged production of substandard products between China and Africa trade that has become important for collective efforts to tackle such problems.
Wu said, “If some Chinese in Africa violate the rule of law they must face consequences, no doubt about it.
“Our Chinese Government always advocates that our nationals must respect African people, respect your culture and follow the rule of law of local country.
“We also encourage all our Chinese nationals and companies living and working in Africa to contribute through social responsibility to their local community.
“Certainly, there are always some bad apples who do bad things, I condemn this kind of behaviour, but isolated cases do not represent all Chinese, just like we will count African people in China.
“We cannot just consider some crime that happened in China by an African to represent Africans; the same thing applies if Chinese nationals violate the Rule of Law we condemn it.”
He reiterated China’s respect for Africa, saying “we also respect our own Rule of Law to handle these kinds of cases”.
According to him, there is no need to trade this kind of thing into a political level or at bilateral relations levels, there are isolated cases according to Rule of Law of African countries.
“I think this is a commercial issue, we noticed many African businessmen go into China for procurement and do lots of shopping for stuffs and then bring back to Africa.
“Such people even do such through the use of e-commerce to buy some stuffs back to Africa; whether these kinds of stuffs are made in China, the quality is good or not, it must reach the national standard.
“From our Chinese official point of view, we have an inspection procedure of goods exported to China; of course, I cannot deny this because sometimes the price is different.
“Some quality of the products cannot reach the expectations of the African consumers; I think China and Africa need to work together to change the situation.
“We do not like it at all, let us work together to fight against counterfeit or smuggling and such bad things; we do not like it at all, we should uphold the Rule of Law to fight against it,” he added.
He observed such incidence had changed a lot in recent years, adding that at African shopping centres one could find a lot of high level Chinese products and even, around the world.
He further said that Chinese products now enjoyed the reputation of low price but high quality amidst some isolated cases, which were not good for the reputation of Chinese products.
He, however, expressed displeasure, saying such acts often portrayed Chinese products in a bad light to the outside world.
No fewer than 90 journalists from 67 countries across Africa, Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, are participating in the programme, which began in June.
The programme, which is being hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA), is expected to end in November.