Chinese City Halts Planned Chemical Project after Protests

Chinese authorities have stopped producing toxic chemical paraxylene for some time at the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp plant after the clash between hundreds of residents and police.

The Government of Eastern China has opposed the project firmly and they will study more to take further steps. According to the latest statement that is posted on the government of Zhenhai’s website, more than almost 1,000 residents started to protest against the expansion of Sinopec plant.

Ningbo protests are most recent and latest in the confrontations series. The protest is against pollution issues linked with the industrial projects. Leaders in China face new demands from public, which is more informative. More number of protesters gathered in front of government offices.

Riot police came out of the compound with shields and helmets and pushed the crowd back. Few people with families ran away. Police smashed placards and took their flags. Later, the crowd roared for the release of protestors.

Liu Li, aged 24, a Ningbo resident, said that the protesters didn’t believe government’s statement. She said that public confidence in government is very little.

The city government was in great pressure and not interested to defuse the protest. It is not sure and is unclear if the local authorities will cancel the project ultimately when the pressure is at lower side.

Environmental Concerns

Demonstrations in Ningbo started on 24th Oct when almost 200 villagers started fighting against the blocked traffic and environmental concerns in a petition. Paraxylene is used in plastics, cleaning solvents, paints, and it is a toxic petrochemical.

The authorities have destined the protests, and they said that public sentiment will be taken into consideration before the construction starts. 

Chemical Factory

Protests have followed the pattern that is played in Shifang, a southwestern city in the month of July, when thousands of protestants went against the molybdenum copper plant construction. Demonstrators in Northeast China, Dalian, forced shutting down the chemical factory on environmental grounds last year.

Nicholas Bequelin, Human Rights researcher from Hong Kong said “ I see all the protests look like emblematic of the ‘mortgage class’ rise in China—educated, urban, middle class professionals, who were not political can mobilize on health issues, which can affect the complete livelihood. These issues reflect the increase in the contentious nature of the social protests.

Expanded Sinopec plant in China is designed specifically for producing refined oil of 15 million tons and ethylene of around 1.2 million tons annually.

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