Sent packing. China plans to lay off 500,000 heavy industry workers. Photo: AFP

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that China plans to cut 500,000 more steel and coal jobs, as foreign governments have been pressuring China to cut excess capacity. China’s labor minister made the announcement after President Xi Jinping had indicated this week that the country plans to deal with the problem of “zombie companies.” The question of employment for those who will be laid off is one of China’s key challenges as the country moves to a service oriented economy. It may take a miracle to avoid the rise of a “fogotten man” with Chinese characteristics.