Qidong - Authorities in eastern China dropped plans for a water-discharge project Saturday after thousands of protesters angry about pollution took to the streets, in the latest of many such confrontations in a country where three decades of rapid economic expansion have come at an environmental price.
Some of the protesters in Qidong in Jiangsu province clashed with police, turning a police car on its side. After the early Saturday morning protest, the Qidong government announced on its website that plans to build the water-discharge project had been scrapped.
The official Xinhua News Agency said thousands of residents took to the streets but dispersed after the government announcement. Later Saturday hundreds of police, some in riot gear, arrived in the coastal town just north of Shanghai and took up positions outside the offices.
The water-discharge project was to be part of a paper-making factory proposed by a Japanese company. The government did not say if the plans for the factory have also been permanently dropped.
Chinese have become more outspoken recently about environmentally risky projects in their backyards, with pollution a leading cause of unrest. Earlier this month, Shifang city in the southwest province of Sichuan scrapped plans for a copper plant after thousands of protesters, some of them high school student, clashed with riot police.