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1 Million Text Messages Protest Blocks China Chemical Plant

Posted by Author on May 31, 2007

BBC News, Wednesday, 30 May 2007-

Residents of the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen have blocked construction of a chemical plant with a text message campaign, media reports say.

Opponents of the plant said they circulated nearly one million mobile phone messages to organise opposition, Xinhua news agency said.

Authorities in Xiamen have halted the construction of the plant to make paraxylene, a chemical in polyester.

Protesters said the plant posed health and environmental risks.

Potential carcinogen

The $1.4bn (£700,000) plant was already under construction 7km (4.3 miles) from Xiamen’s city centre, a distance that protesters said put the city’s 1.5 million residents and the environment at risk from pollution.

Paraxylene is a petrochemical that goes into the making of polyesters and fabrics.

It is potentially carcinogenic.

The text messages urged people to join a protest rally planned for Friday, Chinese media said.

“When this massive toxic chemical product goes into production, that will mean an atomic bomb has been released all over Xiamen island,” said one version of the text cited by the Southern Metropolitan Daily.

The project’s reversal highlights public fears in China over industrial pollution after years of breakneck economic growth.

China’s cities, countryside, waterways and coastlines are among the most polluted in the world.

The central government in Beijing has promised to clean up pollution, but local authorities are often keen to authorise projects that will bring in local revenue.

original from BBC News

One Response to “1 Million Text Messages Protest Blocks China Chemical Plant”

  1. Melvin J. Visser said

    It is great to hear about environmental concerns in China. Perhaps they will catch up with the developed world and truly ban their thousands of tons per year uses of toxaphene, chlordane and other persistent pesticides. These chemicals are returning to North America, causing human health problems and descimating wildlife from the Great Lakes to the arctic. See to learn more.

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