Paraxylene, or PX, is a chemical used for the manufacture of polyester, the writing of shitty op-eds, and the holding of various protests. It is also, apparently, quite flammable; a PX factory in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, exploded on Tuesday morning, leading to yet unknown casualties.
The PX plant was originally planned for construction in Xiamen, but protests forced it out of their city. This May, more protesters in Kunming and Chengdu fought against proposed paraxylene facilities in their areas, to varying degrees of success. More than 12,000 protested against a PX plant in Dalian in 2011.
Protesters have traditionally opposed PX plants because of their pollution and toxic output, but now they can add “potential faulty pipes leading to explosions” to their list of grievances.