On 11 April 2016, the Daily Telegraph and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “We Are Suffering, Too: Britain and China Must Join to Solve Steel Crisis” with a leading introduction. The full text is as follows:
2016年4月11日,英国主流大报《每日电讯报》纸质版和网络版分别刊登驻英国大使刘晓明题为《中英共克时艰,合作应对钢铁业挑战》的署名文章,并同时发表了一篇导读文章。全文如下

We Are Suffering, Too: Britain and China Must Join to Solve Steel Crisis
中英共克时艰,合作应对钢铁业挑战

Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK
中国驻英国大使 刘晓明

Recently, the UK’s steel industry has been dogged by news of closures or sell-offs, with thousands of jobs at risk.This is a sad story: the pioneer of the modern steel industry – once the world’s factory, churning out almost half of global steel production in the latter half of the 19th century – is shrinking and bogged down in difficulties.
近一个时期,英国钢铁行业不断传来不好消息,一些企业将停产或被出售,数千就业岗位面临威胁。英国是现代钢铁工业发源地,19世纪后半叶钢铁产量几乎占全球一半,曾一度是世界钢铁中心。时至今日,英钢铁行业逐步萎缩,步履维艰,令人感到惋惜。

However, it is regrettable that some people in Britain blame China for what is happening in the British steel industry and accuse China of “dumping” steels in Britain and pricing local companies out of the steel market.Making China the “scapegoat” only misleads the public and contributes nothing to the solution of the problem.
但令我感到遗憾的是,英国一些人士将英国钢铁业不景气的归咎于中国,指责中国以不合理的低价向英国“倾销”钢材,挤压了英国钢铁企业的生存空间。这种将中国作为“替罪羊”的观点不仅误导公众,也无益于问题的解决。

As Chinese Ambassador, I believe it is my duty to share with the British public what I see as the multiple reasons behind the sluggishness in Britain’s steel industry.
我感到,作为中国大使,我有责任向英国公众讲清真相。英国钢铁业的不景气是由于国际国内多重原因造成的。

First of all, the shrinking steel sector tallies with the general trend in advanced economies where traditional manufacturing has been replaced by a modern services and financial sector. Sheffield’s transformation from a steel-making city to a sport and education hub is a case in point.
从行业发展看,在发达国家钢铁业占经济比重日益减少是大趋势,金融业和现代服务业已取代传统制造业的地位。谢菲尔德从“钢铁之都”转型为“体育教育之城”就是最好的例证。

Second, in the post-financial crisis era, recovery stays weak and demand remains scarce in most of the economies. Steel overcapacity thus becomes an acute issue worldwide and steelmakers, wherever they are, face similar difficulties. The UK is not alone. Steel companies in Europe, China and beyond are all trapped in the same predicament.
从全球范围看,后金融危机时期各国经济复苏乏力,有效需求疲软,全球钢铁产能过剩问题突出,钢铁企业处境艰难是普遍现象。不仅仅是英国,整个欧洲、中国乃至全球的钢铁产业都面临困境。

Third, the price of steel production, including energy, labour and environmental costs, is rather high here in the UK. In face of fierce global competition, British companies in general are less competitive and less profitable in the field of ordinary and low-end steel production.
从英国自身看,钢铁业能源、环境、劳工等方面成本居高不下,在全球钢铁业激烈竞争的背景下,英国钢铁企业在普通或低端钢材生产上总体缺乏竞争力,盈利空间狭小。

Steel imported from China, amounts of which are very limited, has little to do with the predicament of the UK’s steel industry. In both volume and value, steel from China makes up only a fraction of the UK’s total steel imports.In 2015, for example, of the UK’s 6.66m tons of imports, only 11pc, or 760,000 tons, were from China. If put in value, that was $457m, only 7.6pc of the $5.98bn total.Moreover, steel products from China are mostly low value-added, such as ordinary steel rods and plates, which Britain no longer makes and would have to import from other countries anyway.Therefore, imports from China have no impact upon the British steel market. On the contrary, by importing steels from China, the auto, machinery, construction and other British industries have effectively lowered their costs and increased their profit margin. And imports from China are not “dumping”, as some claim. The Chinese steel manufacturers have followed market rules strictly when exporting to Britain.
中国钢铁出口与英国钢铁业的困境没有因果关系。中国向英国出口的钢铁十分有限。2015年,英国钢铁进口量666万吨,进口总额59.8亿美元。其中,自中国进口76万吨,仅占其钢铁进口量11%;自中国进口金额4.57亿美元,仅占钢铁进口总额的7.6%。中国向英国出口的钢铁,无论从数量还是金额上来看,都只占英国钢铁进口的很小部分。况且中国向英国出口的主要是普通钢铁条杆和板材等低附加值产品,是对英国钢铁市场的有益补充。英国即使不从中国进口,也会从其他国家进口这类钢材。因此,中国钢铁出口不构成对英国市场的冲击。相反,英国从中国进口钢材有效降低了英汽车、机械和建筑等行业的生产成本,提高了相关行业的利润空间。还需强调的是,中国没有鼓励钢铁产品“倾销”,中国钢铁企业向英国出口钢铁产品完全遵循市场原则。

Like their British counterparts, steelmakers in China are also in difficulty.But unlike in Britain, the situation in China is even more serious and challenging. Over the past three years, China has reduced steel capacity by 90m tons. In 2015, for the first time in nearly 30 years, China’s crude steel production fell by 2.3pc year on year. In the coming five years, China is going to cut its crude steel capacity by 100m-150m tons.This new round of reductions will result in over one million lay-offs and relocations of steelworkers, far outnumbering those in the UK.So, both China and the UK have huge challenges on our way ahead – to reform and revitalise our respective steel sectors, and to provide help and support to those workers who might lose their jobs.
与英国的钢铁业一样,中国钢铁业也面临困境。不同的是,中国面临的困难更大,挑战更严峻。过去三年,中国已经压缩了9000万吨钢铁产能。2015年中国粗钢产量同比下降2.3%,是近30年来的首次下降。今后5年中国还要压减粗钢产能1-1.5亿吨。中国新一轮钢铁“去产能”将牵扯到上百万人重新安置就业,其规模远远超过英国。因此,中英两国都面临改革和重振本国钢铁业,并为可能失业的钢铁职工提供帮扶的艰巨挑战。

The Chinese and UK governments have maintained close contact on the steel issue. In late February, the China-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission had a special discussion on this matter.Over the weekend, during Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s visit to China, the two governments had an in-depth exchange of views over the steel issue.Here in the UK, I have spoken on many occasions and shared China’s position with British people from different sectors of industry.I am pleased that China and the UK share the consensus that protectionism is not the solution, as it is retrogressive, goes against market rules and serves the long-term interest of neither side.Both sides believe that there should be closer dialogue and co-operation between our governments. Working with, rather than against, each other is the only way leading to a solution.Overcapacity in the steel industry is a global problem. It therefore calls for a global solution with stronger communication and co-operation among all steelmakers worldwide, who have the joint responsibility to uphold the order of steel trade and promote the sound development of the global steel industry.
中英两国政府在钢铁问题上一直保持密切沟通。今年2月底中英经贸联委会专门讨论了这一问题。上周末(4月9日),哈蒙德外交大臣访华,双方就钢铁问题充分交换意见。我本人也在不同场合向英国各界多次阐述中方立场。值得欣慰的是,中英双方都认为保护主义不是解决问题的办法,不符合社会进步和市场化原则,不符合任何一方的长远利益。我们认为,两国政府和钢铁行业应加强对话合作,共同探讨解决钢铁贸易问题。同时,解决钢铁产能过剩这一全球性问题,也需要全球钢铁业界加强沟通合作,共同维护钢铁贸易秩序,促进全球钢铁业良性发展。

For China and the UK, 2016 is the opening year of the “Golden Era”, in which dialogue, co-operation, mutual benefit and common development constitute the prevailing mainstream.In September, world leaders will gather in Hangzhou in China for the G20 Summit, which will focus on ways to withstand the global downward pressure, to find innovative growth models and to enhance international trade and investment.It is my hope and belief that China and the UK will work together to strengthen dialogue, break through the current difficulties and create a sustainable future for the steel industries of both countries.
2016年是中英关系“黄金时代”的开局之年,对话合作、互利共赢、共同发展应成为“黄金时代”的主流。今年9月的G20杭州峰会将重点探讨如何克服当前全球经济下行压力,创新增长方式,促进国际贸易和投资。我希望并相信中英双方将携手努力,加强沟通,共克时艰,同舟共济,共创两国钢铁业的可持续未来。