China says it won't limit medical exports after U.S. complains

China, the biggest maker of surgical masks and other products, announced last week it would start inspecting exports following Western complaints that some Chinese virus test kits, masks and other products did not meet quality standards.

Since then, U.S. officials have expressed frustration with bureaucratic and other hurdles that American companies are facing in trying to export goods made in their Chinese plants and that are considered key to fighting the pandemic.

China hasn’t responded to questions about whether inspections might increase the time required to fill foreign orders. Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Beijing has taken steps to speed up customs clearance while ensuring the quality of exported epidemic-prevention goods.

“China has not and will not restrict the export of epidemic prevention materials,” Gao said Thursday.