Chinese city scraps project after pollution protest | News | DW | 28.07.2012
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Chinese city scraps project after pollution protest

Chinese authorities have cancelled a waste pipeline project after violent demonstrations against it. It is the second time this month that protests have caused an industrial project to be scrapped in China.

Local authorities in eastern China used television, radio, the Internet and text messages to announce the "permanent cancellation" of the sewage pipeline project, after protesters overturned cars and ransacked government offices, destroying computers.

The thousands of protesters gathered in the city of Qidong, near Shanghai, dispersed after the announcement was made.

The planned sewage pipe was to have carried wastewater 110 kilometers (70 miles) from a Japanese-owned paper mill in Nantong, north of Shanghai, to the port of Lusi, one of Qidong's four fishing harbors.

Residents quoted by the state-run Global Times newspaper said on Friday that the pipeline would have discharged 150,000 tons of wastewater into the sea per day once the mill was fully operational, endangering fish stocks.

The Japanese owner of the mill, Oji Paper, denied it would cause pollution, as any water the company released was purified to local environmental standards, it said.

Protests increase

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities dropped plans to construct a $1.6-billion (1.3 billion-euro) metals plant in the southwest province of Sichuan following violent anti-pollution protests.

China has experienced severe environmental degradation in the wake of its rapid industrial expansion over the past 30 years.

The demonstration in Qidong was the latest in a series of environmental protests as the country moves towards a leadership transition later this year.

tj/ncy (Reuters, AFP, dpa)