China launched Thursday a campaign to improve the quality of its consumer products in a bid to restore confidence in its industries, which have been plagued by recent safety scandals.
Vice Premier Wu Yi told a conference here that standards of food, drug, agricultural and other products, including those for exports, have to markedly improve before year's end.
"This is a special battle to safeguard our people's health and welfare as well as safeguarding Chinese products' reputation and our country's image," said Wu in a speech carried by the Chinese government website.
The announcement comes as China struggles to restore confidence in its consumer products at home and abroad, after a spate of safety scandals ranging from toys and tyres to seafood and toothpaste.
The four-month campaign will strengthen inspection and monitoring efforts as well as tighten production licensing requirements in order to overhaul the quality and safety of Chinese products, she said.
During the campaign, all food export manufacturers will be inspected and all food products for export will have to acquire quarantine labels before they are shipped abroad, she said.
Manufacturers found with illegal or substandard products will be punished along with officials and government departments which failed to take action, she said.
Corruption is widespread in China among officials, who often receive bribes in return for turning a blind eye to, or even sometimes participating in illegal production.
The former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed last month following his conviction for taking bribes to approve hundreds of medicines, some of which proved dangerous.