China on Wednesday asked all the countries to import medical equipment through reputed Chinese firms cleared by the government and vowed to punish those involved in counterfeit behaviour amid growing complaints about the low quality of the exported items.
As factories in China resumed operations after over two months of grim battle against the coronavirus, the country is now busy tapping into the vast business opportunities of exporting key medical goods, especially ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE), across the world, including India, where both private and government bodies are placing orders for these products.
Several countries including Italy and Spain have complained about the low quality of medical materials including PPE, testing kits and ventilators, casting a shadow over Chinese exports. China has imposed strict restrictions on its firms to ensure quality exports.
Responding to questions about quality concerns raised by several countries related to medical equipment imports from China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a media briefing in Beijing that the Chinese government is facilitating the orderly exports.
"We hope foreign buyers can choose products from companies that have been accredited by Chinese regulators with good production credentials," he said.
"Recently many countries have been purchasing medical items in China. While ensuring our domestic needs we support companies with credentials and reputation to export products", he said.
"We facilitate orderly exports and foreign procurement in production, transport and customs clearance. Some countries raised their demand through diplomatic channels. We recommend export firms with qualification to have consultation with foreign buyers," he said.
After this approach, the foreign buyers did not complain about the quality of the materials bought from the recommended channels, he said.
About complaints of poor quality exports by different countries, he said local Chinese embassies verified and responded to such complaints.
"I would like to say the quality of medical supplies concerns the life and health of all people. We pay high attention to that. We fight counterfeit behaviour in this process. Once there is a problem with the quality, we will investigate earnestly and punish," said.
Foreign buyers need to verify the usage of the instruction of products whether they meet the criteria of the markets they are exporting to so that they won't make mistakes in a hurry, he said.
Indian Ambassador to Beijing, Vikram Misri said on Tuesday that India has placed orders to procure 15 million personal protection gear from China for medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients besides three million testing kits.
The orders are being placed with bonafide firms with the help of the Chinese government.
"I think facilitation of our needs and our requirements in a timely manner, in a smooth manner, on a predictable timeline at prices that are stable and orderly, would be the best signal possible to send for the India-China relationship," Mr Misri said.