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Western anger over Chinese steel imports 'unreasonable'
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The western anger over surging Chinese steel imports is "unreasonable" and runs against the concept of globalization, Zhang Xiaogang, Chairman of China Iron and Steel Association said Sunday.


Zhang, also President of Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation, one of China's biggest steel producer, said in an interview with Xinhua that some western countries have been using "double standards" when it comes to trade and competition in the steel industry.


The rising steel production in China has been fueled by the rapid economic development in China as well as global economic recovery in recent years, said Zhang, who is attending an annual meeting of International Iron and Steel Institute in Berlin.


The world's steel production rose by 8.8 percent last year and China's steel production, even though still ranks the highest in the world, has been growing slower than some countries like India, said Zhang.


And China's steel production growth is expected to fall below 10 percent next year which is largely attributed to the recent national policies to curb the overheating of Chinese steel industry.


Western accusations that China is reaving world's resources are "unacceptable," Zhang said.


European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries estimates that Chinese steel imports into the European Union will amount to 10 million tons this year, double that of last year and some EU officials have been complaining that these imports were "threatening" the health of the European steel industry.


The rise in Chinese steel exports to Europe is mainly due to the economic growth in the region, said Zhang.


And European companies, including the German car producer BMW, have been happy to use Chinese steel products, the quality of which is improving very fast, he said.


Meanwhile, Chinese steel did not come to Europe at the cost of local steel producers, said Zhang.


Nearly all European steel manufacturers have steadily seen their profits rising in recent years, he said.


In a time of globalization, everything should be done to promote fair trade and competition, said Zhang.


Spending time on unnecessary spat is not helping, he said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)


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