Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao joined workers in the Caofeidian industrial zone in north China's Hebei Province on the International Labor Day, saying that the steel industry should be more competitive despite the huge production capacity.
"I'm very happy that I can celebrate the Labor Day with you," Wen said to the workers at the new site of Beijing Capital Iron and Steel Group, or Shougang, which is 220 km east of Beijing.
The production capacity of the steel industry is already enormous, Wen said, adding that China should have more advanced products in the world,eliminate highly energy-consuming and polluting production capacity, and improve the competitiveness of the steel sector.
In 2006, China's crude steel output amounted to 418.78 million tons, up 18.48 percent year-on-year.
Shougang should become a superb steel base with first-class products, first-class technology, first-class environment and first-class returns, the premier said.
Shougang, which caused much pollution in the capital, will go into operation at the new site before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. All production facilities of the corporation will have been moved by 2010.
At noon, the premier had a bowl of millet porridge and two steamed stuffed buns together with the workers and chatted with them, asking about their daily life and work conditions.
Wen also visited some docks of coal, crude oil and ore in the Caofeidian industrial zone, extending regards to the workers on the special day of laborers.