China kills pipeline project in response to violent anti-pollution protests


A line of paramilitary police makes its way through protesters outside the local government offices in Qidong in the eastern China province of Jiangsu on July 28, 2012. Thousands of demonstrators protested against alleged pollution from a paper factory in this easten China city and clashed with police after they seized bottles of liquor and wine from the offices along with cartons of cigarettes, items which Chinese officials frequently receive as bribes.


Peter Parks

China today terminated work on an industrial waste pipeline following massive protests by citizens concerned that the project would pollute their seawater, reported BBC News.

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At least 1,000 people took to the streets shouting anti-pipeline chants in the coastal city of Qidong, where the proposed pipeline was going to start dumping wastewater generated by a paper factory, reported Reuters.

Troops have been sent in to quell the unrest.

Officials ealier offered to suspend the project in a bid to calm growing tensions, but concerned citizens were having none of it, according to BBC

"If the government really wanted to stop this project, they should have done it right from the beginning," 17-year-old protester Xi Feng told Reuters. "At this point they are too late."

Demonstrators also broke into government offices and destroyed equipment, said Reuters. A local official told BBC that outraged protesters even ripped the shirt off his back. 

Public anger over environmental damage in China is reported to be widespread. 

Today's protest in Qidong, which lies about an hour north of Shanghai, comes amid a recent spate of environmentally-charged rallies in China, said Reuters.

The pipeline is the second industrial project to be killed this month, with the government earlier scrapping plans to build copper plant in Sichuan province following major protests, said BBC