Taizhou opposes chemical plant

Residents of Taizhou, on the coast of east China’s Zhejiang province, are mobilising against a proposed chemical plant, Reuters reports. They fear that pollution from the site would be a menace to their health, and some are urging marches against the government scheme, which they say puts growth before the environment.


Should it open, the Taizhou plant would make paraxylene (PX), a petrochemical used in polyester. It would be part of a larger petroleum-processing complex costing 60 billion yuan (US$8.8 billion), according to reports in the official Taizhou Daily.


Taizhou residents are using internet blogs and text messages to stage planned protest “strolls”. One message on a local website (https://bbs.taizhou.com) coordinating the opposition read: “Resolutely oppose the PX project. As Taizhou residents, everyone must take some action. We want clear water and green hills, not toxic cash.”


Regional government officials – whose priority often remains attracting fresh investment and revenue – are in favour of the plant for Taizhou. Last year, protests against a PX plant planned for another coastal city, Xiamen, led to officials shelving it.


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