China: Clashes between police and people around a chemical plant

BEIJING, China – On Sunday Clashes took place in the north-eastern China between hundreds of police in riot gear and thousands of people who require removal of a chemical plant for fear of a toxic spill after the passage of a tropical storm, according to the official news agency new China (Xinhua).

Thousands of people in the port city of Dalian gathered outside the office of the town hall to protest against the presence of the plant Fuija Chemical, which produces paraxylene, or PX, which is used in the manufacture of plastics, polyester and film. A short exposure to PX can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, according to the U.S. network of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chronic exposure can affect the central nervous system and cause death.

Calls to move the company have increased after the passage of Typhoon Muifa causing waves that broke a dike protecting the plant last week. Xinhua said that no toxic spill was reported, nor the wounded in the clashes on Sunday.

According to news agency, the most senior of the blink, Tang Jun, tried to calm the crowd by promising the movement of extramural site.

In 2007, a project to build a plant in the city of PX Wiamen in south-east China, had sparked demonstrations by frightened residents. In 2009, the Ministry of Environment announced that the complex would be built in a less populated area, another town in the area, Zhangzhou. Friday, the authorities of this city said the project should be completed by the end of the year and that the plant could begin shooting early 2012.

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