China asked Foxconn Technology Group and other Taiwanese firms to pay more attention to safety, after a deadly blast at a Chinese factory making iPads for Apple.

Production in parts of the plant in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu was suspended by Foxconn, Apple's biggest manufacturing partner, after three workers died and 15 were injured in a blast in a polishing workshop where Apple's signature products undergo finishing.

We hope that Foxconn and other Taiwanese companies can learn a lesson from this, fulfill their safety responsibilities, strengthen internal oversight controls, scrutinize hidden dangers in a timely manner and ensure safe production, Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.

Foxconn, the world's largest contract manufacturer, counts Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd and Foxconn International Holdings Ltd among its listed units.

After the accident happened, the local government immediately undertook rescue work, and set up a joint investigation team. As I understand it, the initial findings are that this was a production safety accident, Fan told a news conference.

Foxconn has said that it will make an all out effort to treat the (affected) workers and reassure family members, and will remove hidden safety dangers in accordance with relevant demands, Fan said.

This is not the first time Foxconn has been hit by controversy.

A string of worker suicides at its sprawling plants shone a harsh spotlight on what critics dubbed a militaristic culture pushing its workers to the brink to meet a flood of unceasing global orders for Apple's slick new generations of devices.

Since then, Foxconn -- which many experts say is the only viable partner for Apple, given the vast economies of scale stemming from its string of gargantuan factories employing well over a million workers -- has raised pay, cut working hours and promised a better work-life balance for its employees.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Chris Lewis and Anshuman Daga)