Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

China scraps factory plan after protests

SHIFANG, China — Police stood guard over hundreds of people in a tense Chinese city Wednesday, a day after authorities bowed to violent protests and cancelled plans to build a controversial metals factory.

The protests in Shifang city highlighted and fuelled concerns around China over the impact of rampant economic development on the environment, with millions of Chinese closely following developments on the Internet.

Shifang authorities announced on Tuesday night, after two days of clashes during which riot police used tear gas to quell thousands of protesters, that they would not build the multi-million-dollar factory.

"Shifang from this day forward will not build this project," Shifang Community Party chief Li Chengjing said in a statement.

Li insisted the copper factory would have brought Shifang many jobs and economic benefits, but acknowledged the strong public opposition and his government's failure to fully explain its benefits.

Two people were killed in the protests, according to rights watchdog Chinese Human Rights Defenders, although the government denied anyone had died. Read More