Thousands of protestors marched through the city of Ningbo in a weekend of protests against the expansion of a petrochemical plant that residents believe is carcinogenic.
Gillian Wong of the Associated Press reports:
The standoff in the prosperous city of Ningbo has highlighted the deep mistrust between people and the government in China. Should they continue, the demonstrations would upset an atmosphere of calm that Chinese leaders want for a transfer of power in the Communist Party leadership next month.
The protest in the eastern city, which comes at a sensitive time in China’s political calendar, had swelled over the weekend and led to clashes between citizens and police. The Ningbo city government said in a statement Sunday evening that they and the project’s investor had “resolutely” agreed not to go ahead with the expansion. The factory is a subsidiary of Sinopec, one of the biggest petrochemical companies in the world.
Outside the government offices where crowds of protesters remained, an official tried to read the statement on a loudspeaker but was drowned out by shouts demanding the mayor step down. On the third attempt, the crowd briefly cheered but then turned back to demanding that authorities release protesters being held inside.
ITN correspondent Angus Walker was also briefly detained during the protests.
Protestors gather outside the municipal government on Saturday, singing the national anthem, and demanding the mayor Liu Qi to come out of the building:
Police detain a protestor outside the Ningbo municipal government building Saturday:
Another view of the protest on Saturday
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