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Policy

Chinese protest petrochemical plan

by Jean-François Tremblay
May 16, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 20

Protesters in the northeast Chinese city of Longkou are opposing a plan to build a huge petrochemical complex in the city. Photos uploaded on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, showed a group of at least several hundred displaying banners opposing the project. Some of the banners targeted p-xylene, a polyester intermediate that is controversial in China. Apparently surprised by the backlash, the government of Longkou issued a statement assuring the public that planning for the project is still in its early stages. Featuring 2.2 million metric tons per year of ethylene capacity, the massive complex would cover a land area of 45 km2.

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