UK foreign minister urges China to cut steel capacity

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond has called on China to accelerate its push to cut steel production as the failing steel industry continues to hobble both economies.

Hammond said in Beijing on Saturday that the British government was seeking a "long-term, sustainable future" for the Port Talbot steelmaking plant in Wales, which is facing possible closure. Many local workers blame Chinese "dumping" for the plant's possible demise.

China has been wracked by massive overcapacity problems as steel prices and demand have plummeted. Tens of thousands of workers have been laid off in government-driven cuts, leading to unrest in China's northeast.

Characterizing bilateral relations as a "strategic partnership," Hammond also said he raised concerns about Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared for months amid reports they were abducted by Chinese security forces.