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Chinese firms not involved in Indonesia plastic rice scare

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese firms have not been permitted to export rice to Indonesia since 2008 and thus they have nothing to do with the plastic rice scare that hit Indonesia, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Wednesday.

In accordance with rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and China's commitments to the WTO, Chinese rice exports are subject to "state trading" and quotas, said a notice from the MOC.

Under "state trading," only two companies may operate rice exports: China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation and Jilin Province Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import and Export Corporation.

Since 2008, China has not exported rice to Indonesia and, therefore, plastic rice in Indonesia has nothing to do with Chinese firms, it said.

The MOC will follow the issue closely and hopes Indonesia can find out the truth as soon as possible, the ministry said.

Food safety cooperation will be boosted between the two countries for a healthy economic and trade relationship, it said.

A scare over rice contaminated with plastic grains in Indonesia has led some media to allege the rice came from China.

For example, Asia News Network, a network of 21 media groups in Asian cities, on Monday said Indonesia imported rice "mainly from Thailand and Vietnam," but following scares over "rice contaminated by plastic rice believed to be from China," some politicians have asked people to consume local rice while authorities trace the source of contamination.

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