From the Wall Street Journal:
China is showing the first signs of fighting back against an avalanche of criticism and new restrictions based on safety concerns about its exports. But Beijing’s task is made more difficult by both its awkwardness in the public-relations game and the increasingly hostile political environment in Washington.
Beijing’s campaign illustrates how worried the Chinese are that the “Made in China” label not be tarnished further by the controversies over the safety of its products. In the first four months of the year, China shipped more than $95 billion of goods, or about 20% of its total exports, to the U.S., making the American export market a key plank in the country’s overall economic strategy.
Now, the uproar in the U.S. over tainted Chinese imports — which began earlier this year with a scare over pet food and has since involved toothpaste, car tires, toys and seafood — has the potential to merge with tensions over the U.S. trade deficit with China and complicate attempts to resolve the countries’ differences. [Full Text, Subscription Only]
See also: U.S. companies tightening scrutiny of Chinese suppliers from International Herald Tribune.