Did Environmental Protests Just Stop Planned Petrochemical Plant in China?

Protests over a planned petrochemical plant in China’s Guangdong province may have brought the proposal to a halt.

Over one thousand people took part in a protest in Maoming on Sunday over the plant slated to produce paraxylene or PX, a chemical used in making plastics. The protest reportedly started off peaceful but turned violent, with reports of police using batons, tear gas and excessive force leading to several injured protesters.

“Accounts and photographs suggest that police may have used disproportionate force against demonstrators in Maoming,” said Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch’s China director.

Despite the harsh crackdown, the protest reportedly spread to the provincial capital of Guangzhou on Tuesday.

Reuters reported Wednesday


As of Wednesday, the environmental protest seems to have been successful in its aims.

From the Guardian:

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It is not the first time paraxylene has been the target of successful protests, as the New York Times reports:

“Maoming people are very unhappy,” Dong, a local resident who took part in the Sunday protest, told the BBC. “Maoming has always been a chemical industrial city. Sometimes walking on the streets, you can’t even escape from the awful smell discharged from the chemical plants.”


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