China has moved to reassure the World Health Organisation of its high food safety standards and promised to co-operate with regulatory bodies in other countries on information exchange.

Chinese food exports have recently been found contaminated by high levels of pesticides or illegal ingredients.

But, in a notice posted on the Ministry of Health website today, the Chinese government reiterated that 99.2% of its exports to the US last year met quality standards, while 99.8% of food to Japan was up to scratch.

The quality of vegetables has also increased with more than 94% meeting chemical residue standards, the Ministry said.

The Ministry added that it "pays great attention to friendly cooperation in the food safety field with other countries, regions and international bodies". It said it is prepared to increase communication about food safety incidents with other countries and co-operate on food safety technologies. It already works with the World Health Organisation, participating in initiatives such as INFOSAN, an international food safety network.

The Ministry also outlined recent measures taken to improve on safety standards. "AQSIQ [the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine] is always increasing the strength of punishment on fake foods. It is especially strict regarding the abuse of additives, use of non-food materials and factories without licences."