6 May 2013

Hundreds protest over China chemical plant

8:52 am on 6 May 2013

Hundreds of people are reported to have protested against a proposed chemical plant in southwest China, while residents in another city have accused authorities of preventing a similar protest.

The official Xinhua news agency said some 200 demonstrators gathered in the city of Kunming to protest against plans for a factory that will produce paraxylene, a toxic petrochemical used to make fabrics.

The report said about 1000 people it described as onlookers surrounded the protesters and the police "dissuaded" one protester from displaying a banner

Police also lined the streets of Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, after locals planned a protest against a nearby chemical plant on Saturday, residents told AFP.

China has seen a number of urban demonstrations against proposed chemical plants in recent years, in what analysts have identified as a rising trend of environmentally-motivated "not in my backyard" protests in China.