China is planning a new crackdown on steel production in the north-eastern city of Tangshan in a bid to prevent false reporting of mill closures by local governments reluctant to obey shutdown orders. Officials in the northeastern province of Hebei have been sent a government notice, seen by the Financial Times, stating that an investigative team had been sent to Tangshan, a leading steel producer, to verify the closure of mills. The notice, sent on Saturday, cites orders from President Xi Jinping and Zhang Gaoli, the vice-premier, for Tangshan to investigate the problem of falsely reported plant closures and rising steel output. Last year, China’s state council set out plans to eliminate 100m-150m tonnes of steel capacity in a bid to restructure the economy from one driven by government-led infrastructure investment and exports to a more consumption and services-oriented model.
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