(AsiaNews/Agencies) - Shifang City authorities said they would pay the medical
costs of people, both protesters and passers-by, hurt during three days of
protest against the construction of a US$ 1.6 billion molybdenum-copper alloy
a result of clashes between locals and police, the city scrapped the plan. Residents
were concerned that it would increase local cancer rates and pollute the
began on 1 July. Local witnesses said that on the first evening police in
anti-riot gear and soldiers took over the town's centre after firing tear gas
to disperse the crowd.
also took 27 people into custody for destroying public property; 21 were
released without charges. The six still in custody are charged with throwing objects
at police, but their status might improve since residents continue to demand
15-year-old boy has accused riot police of excessive force. "I was a
passer-by when 20 or 30 riot policemen rushed at me. One of them kicked me to
the ground, and other policemen beat me with truncheons, while others kept
stepping on and kicking me for about a minute."
residents' victory marks a turning point for China's pollution problem. Until recently,
local Communist authorities tended to seize land without compensation to sell
it to private interests that more often than not built polluting factories. However,
more and more ordinary Chinese are become civic minded and demonstrations are proving
Communist Party is conscious it cannot stop social protests, which run in the
tens of thousands each year, and so it has opted for compromise in cases where
it would not lose face.
central government has warned local officials "not to exaggerate" in such cases
since they are often moved by corruption, reminding them "that the survival of
the system of national government is at stake."