The Ministry of Commerce held a press conference to answer questions on improving food safety (full text)

  CCTV News:According to the website of the Ministry of Commerce, on November 2, the Ministry of Commerce held a regular press conference, and spokesperson Shen Danyang answered questions from reporters on issues such as improving food safety and security. The record is as follows:

  1. The leaders of the State Council recently requested to further strengthen the responsibility, improve the mechanism, innovate supervision, and improve the level of food safety. What has the Ministry of Commerce done in this respect in recent years? Have you seen the results?

  A: Although the Ministry of Commerce is not the competent department of food safety, food safety is a major livelihood issue and a common concern of the whole society. We have also done a lot of work within the scope of our duties and achieved initial results.

  According to the unified deployment of the State Council, in recent years, the Ministry of Commerce has mainly adopted information technology means such as Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data with relevant departments to build a traceability system for meat, vegetables and other edible agricultural products. At present, the goals of traceable sources, traceable destinations and accountable responsibilities of related foods have been basically achieved, and the level of food safety has been improved by creating a safe and secure consumption environment.

  Beginning in 2010, the Ministry of Commerce took the "one meat and one vegetable" as a breakthrough and took the lead in promoting the construction of meat and vegetable traceability system. We organized a few qualified cities, with the urban traceability platform as the core and the traceability subsystem of mechanized slaughterhouses, large wholesale markets, standardized vegetable markets, large and medium-sized supermarket chains and some group consumption units as the support, to carry out the pilot construction of meat and vegetable circulation traceability system. Since then, the scope of pilot cities has gradually expanded, and the number of traceable varieties has increased. Up to now, 58 cities have been supported in five batches to build the traceability system of meat and vegetables, and 8 wineries in 4 provinces have been supported in two batches to build the traceability system of alcohol circulation. A total of 15,000 enterprises have established a traceability system, covering more than 300,000 merchants, initially forming a traceability network that radiates across the country and connects urban and rural areas. In the pilot cities that have been completed and put into operation, consumers can inquire about the circulation process of related commodities such as meat and vegetables and the responsible subjects of related links through the traceability code on the shopping receipt, which improves the level of food safety and modernization of circulation, improves the transparency of consumption and enhances consumer confidence.

  According to the deployment of the State Council, in the past two years, the Ministry of Commerce has also taken the lead in working with 19 departments including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the General Administration of Food and Drug Administration to build traceability systems for edible agricultural products, food, medicines, major agricultural means of production, special equipment, dangerous goods and rare earth products by using information technology. At present, the division of labor among departments has been clarified, and a communication and coordination mechanism between departments has been established. Since July 2016, demonstration work has been carried out in Shandong, Shanghai, Ningxia and Xiamen, and all work has been promoted in an orderly manner.

  2. Recently, Vice Premier Wang Yang and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Trutnev held the second meeting of the Council for Local Cooperation in Northeast China and Russian Far East, proposing that the two sides should strengthen policy docking and expand cooperation areas. What is the current economic and trade cooperation between Northeast China and Russian Far East? What’s the next step?

  A: On October 20th, Vice Premier Wang Yang and Russian Deputy Prime Minister and President’s Plenipotentiary in the Far East Federal District Trutnev co-chaired the second meeting of the Council for Local Cooperation in Northeast China and the Russian Far East. During the meeting, the two sides reached broad consensus on strengthening policy communication, planning coordination and project docking in the development of the Far East, and agreed to reorganize the Council into an intergovernmental committee, which will be included in the regular meeting mechanism between Chinese and Russian prime ministers, so as to promote more achievements in the development cooperation between China and Russia in the Far East.

  At present, the development cooperation between China and Russia in the Far East has made positive progress. In the first half of 2016, China became the largest trading partner of the Russian Far East, and its trade volume with China accounted for nearly a quarter of the total foreign trade of the Russian Far East Federal District. The two sides have launched a number of key investment cooperation projects in the fields of energy, minerals, aviation, ships, agriculture, forestry and port construction, and built a number of cross-border passages including river-crossing bridges, river-crossing cableways and highway ports, and built a number of cooperation platforms such as the China-Russia Expo, the China-Northeast Asia Expo and the Oriental Economic Forum. The economic and trade exchanges between provinces and States of the two countries are getting closer and closer, and the enthusiasm of enterprises of the two sides has been greatly enhanced. The prospects for development cooperation between China and Russia in the Far East are very broad. In the next step, the two sides will jointly take measures to give full play to the established cooperation mechanism between the two governments and local governments, expand cooperation areas, make good use of financing channels, improve the business environment, and jointly create an open and inclusive new pattern of development cooperation in the Far East.

  3. On October 29th, Minister Gao Hucheng attended the 11th China-Japan-ROK Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Japan. What topics were discussed by China, Japan and South Korea at this meeting? What important consensus has been reached?

  A: Regarding Minister Gao Hucheng’s attendance at the 11th China-Japan-ROK Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting, the website of the Ministry of Commerce released it for the first time, and I would like to make some more introductions.

  The purpose of this meeting is to accumulate achievements for the next China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting, and mainly to exchange views on the implementation of the economic and trade achievements of the G20 summit, new areas and initiatives for pragmatic economic and trade cooperation among the three countries, and regional and multilateral economic and trade issues, and reach a series of consensus. In order to better reflect the results, the ministers of economy and trade of the three countries issued the Joint Press Statement of the 11th China-Japan-ROK Economic and Trade Ministers Meeting after the meeting.

  In implementing the economic and trade achievements of the G20 Summit, the three parties emphasized the importance of the G20 Global Trade Growth Strategy and the G20 Global Investment Guiding Principles, and the important role of the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group in further strengthening G20 trade and investment cooperation.

  Regarding the strengthening of trilateral cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea, China proposes to carry out third-party international capacity cooperation and jointly explore the fourth-party market under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Initiative; Strengthen the construction of mechanisms such as the Pan-Yellow Sea Economic and Technological Exchange Conference, support more pragmatic cooperation among the three countries and promote local economic development. China’s relevant initiatives have received positive responses from Japan and South Korea. Through the joint research report on "Strengthening Supply Chain Interconnection among the Three Countries", the three parties agreed to study the expansion of the above projects to ASEAN countries within the framework of "10+3". The three parties also exchanged views on cooperation in Olympic economy, e-commerce and energy.

  In terms of multilateral and regional cooperation, the three parties reiterated that they should speed up negotiations on the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), jointly oppose protectionism, further strengthen the multilateral trading system, strengthen cooperation under the framework of APEC and ASEM, and actively promote regional economic integration.

  4. After China Chemical’s acquisition of Syngenta met with obstacles, on October 24th, Fujian Hongxin’s acquisition of German Ai Siqiang also met with censorship crisis. What is the response of the Ministry of Commerce?

  A: We have taken note of the German government’s recent decision to cancel the case of China’s merger and acquisition of Germany’s AstraZeneca. In recent years, China’s investment cooperation with Germany has developed rapidly. Investment by Chinese-funded enterprises has created tens of thousands of local jobs and a large amount of tax revenue, and also brought capital and market channels for German enterprises to expand overseas business. Although China’s investment in Germany is growing rapidly, the total amount is still small. Some German government officials and people are worried that German enterprises’ investment in Germany will transfer German technology and jobs unnecessarily. Many successful M&A cases of German enterprises in China have proved this point.

  We hope that Germany’s resumption of the security review of the merger case is only a case, which does not mean that Germany has changed its economic policy. Because this move will not be conducive to the healthy development of Sino-German two-way investment and the overall situation of economic and trade cooperation. We respect countries’ security audit under their legal framework, and we also hope to improve transparency, clarify judgment criteria and give investors from all sides equal treatment. It is hoped that relevant parties in China can think rationally, treat the business behavior of enterprises objectively, create a good atmosphere for German enterprises to carry out investment activities in the local area on the principle of mutual benefit and common development, and promote the healthy development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and Germany.

  5. On October 18th, the Australian Anti-dumping Committee issued an announcement, deciding to terminate the anti-dumping review investigation on photovoltaic products in China. In addition, 403 enterprises in the European Union and five environmental protection organizations recently requested the European Commission to immediately stop anti-dumping and countervailing measures against China’s PV, so as to avoid making PV panels more expensive and hindering the development of European solar energy industry. What is China’s comment on this?

  A: China has noticed that the Australian investigation authorities announced last month that they decided to terminate the anti-dumping investigation on photovoltaic products in China. China appreciates Australia’s move. I believe it is not only in line with the actual situation, but also conducive to strengthening cooperation between China and Australia in the field of new energy, working together to cope with global climate change, and also helping to enhance economic and trade relations between China and Australia.

  We have also noticed that the photovoltaic case has also attracted much attention and controversy within the EU. Many enterprises and organizations oppose the European Commission’s restrictive measures, arguing that the EU’s anti-dumping and countervailing measures against China’s photovoltaic products only protect the interests of a few enterprises in the EU, but hurt the interests of most enterprises in the EU. Recently, some European parliamentarians have publicly stated that the EU’s restrictions on photovoltaic products in China are cartels supported by the European Commission, which makes the EU’s response to climate change more expensive.

  China believes that the increasingly severe global climate change is a serious threat and common enemy to the sustainable development of human society. Driven by many countries around the world, the technical level of photovoltaic industry has been continuously improved, the price has been continuously reduced, and the competitiveness level with traditional fossil energy has been continuously improved. In recent years, due to the adoption of trade restrictions, the European Union’s market price has failed to keep pace with the global price decline, the market demand has shrunk severely, and its importance in the global market has also declined day by day. If the EU continues to maintain the restrictive measures, it will further worsen the shrinking situation, which is also not conducive to the long-term interests of the EU’s climate and energy.

  China calls on the EU to completely terminate the anti-dumping and countervailing measures of photovoltaic as soon as possible, so as to restore the photovoltaic market to a normal state and truly achieve mutual benefit and win-win. As strategic partners and important trading partners, China and Europe have broad prospects for cooperation in many fields. The two sides should pay more attention to cooperation and jointly create a good environment for global economic growth and climate change.

  6. According to foreign media reports, during the "Diwali Festival" in India in October, some politicians in India launched a campaign to boycott Indian products, calling on people to boycott Indian goods. What is the comment of the Ministry of Commerce?

  A: We have noticed relevant reports. China and India are important economic and trade cooperation partners. In 2015, the trade volume between China and India reached US$ 71.62 billion. In the context of the sharp contraction of global trade, the trade between the two countries developed against the trend and achieved positive growth. From January to September this year, the bilateral trade volume between China and India was US$ 52.31 billion, which continued to maintain a steady development momentum. This is the result of the joint efforts of the business people of the two countries. China’s products exported to India meet the needs of domestic market and people’s production and life. In order to gain political capital, a few politicians in China instigated a boycott of Indian products, which runs counter to the desire of both sides to carry out friendly cooperation and achieve mutual benefit and win-win, and is unpopular.

  As two emerging economies with the fastest economic growth in the world, China and India have a large population, huge market and complementary economic structures. It is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples to further strengthen economic and trade cooperation. We hope that India will take necessary measures to control the development of the situation, and guide the media to objectively report the mutually beneficial and win-win economic and trade cooperation between China and India, jointly safeguard the overall situation of friendly cooperation between China and India, and create a good atmosphere for mutually beneficial and win-win economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.

  7. Recently, the first electrified railway in Africa, Yaji Railway, was officially opened to traffic. What is the symbolic significance of the opening of Yaji Railway for China enterprises to "go global"?

  A: Yaji Railway is the first transnational electrified railway and the longest electrified railway on the African continent. The whole railway line adopts the second-class electrified railway standard of China, which is the first transnational electrified railway project with "China" in the whole industry chain, which integrates design, procurement, construction, financing, supervision and operation management. Yaji Railway has won full recognition from Ethiopian and Djiboutian governments for its modern China technical standards, equipment level and quality, and has a good demonstration effect on neighboring countries and Africa as a whole, setting a new benchmark for African railway network construction, which is of great significance for China railway standards to "go global".

  8. It is understood that in the first three quarters of this year, the amount of newly signed contracts for foreign contracted projects between China and countries related to the "Belt and Road" increased substantially. Please introduce the relevant situation.

  A: In the first three quarters of 2016, the contracted engineering business of Chinese enterprises in countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative grew rapidly, with 4,191 newly signed contracts for overseas contracted projects, with a newly signed contract value of 74.56 billion US dollars, up 26.1% year-on-year, accounting for 50.4% of the newly signed contracts for overseas contracted projects in China in the same period. The contract value of Egypt’s new capital construction project undertaken by China State Construction Engineering Corporation reached 2.7 billion US dollars, which was the largest contracted project that our company won the bid in the countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative in the first three quarters.

  9. The "double 11" is coming this year, and all major e-commerce platforms have started pre-sales and other promotional activities. Does the Ministry of Commerce have any solutions to the online sales of fake and shoddy goods, false discounts, false bid prices, misleading publicity and delayed delivery during the "double 11" last year?

  A: During the "double 11" every year, a large number of online retailers in China focus on various promotional activities, which has become an annual event in the e-commerce industry and has attracted wide attention from the society. Regarding the possible problem of selling fake and shoddy goods online, we will strengthen the supervision of online trading platforms with relevant departments and severely crack down on illegal activities in accordance with the requirements of the "2016 National Key Points for Combating Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights and Manufacturing and Selling Fake and Inferior Commodities" issued at the beginning of this year. We have also formulated a law enforcement cooperation and joint law enforcement action plan, and will actively promote inter-regional and inter-departmental law enforcement cooperation.

  The Ministry, together with the Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and other departments, has also made a study in advance on the possible problems of promotion behavior norms of online retailers in terms of promotion methods, scale, scope and scope, and relevant departments will take necessary regulatory actions.