Issue Date: June 11, 2007
Environmental Protests Stop Chinese Plant Construction
Bowing to public pressure, the municipal government of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen has ordered that work stop on the construction of a $1.4 billion p-xylene plant. According to China's official media, the local government received about 1 million telephoned text messages opposing the project, which has already been cleared by the central government in Beijing. Xiamen residents are concerned that the plant will operate in the city's Haicang district, where about 100,000 people live. Xiamen officials say they have started analyzing public comments as part of a six-month reassessment of the project's environmental impact. The project's promoter, Tenglong Aromatic PX, is a venture partly owned by Chen Yu-hao, the founder and former chairman of the Taiwanese chemical group Tuntex. Chen is currently a fugitive sought by Taiwanese authorities on charges of alleged financial malpractices, including improper campaign contributions.
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