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China struggles for solution to growing NIMBY movement

Published on Nov 2, 2012 7:31 AM
 
A man shouts slogans as people march during a protest against plans to expand a petrochemical plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province on Oct 28, 2012. It looked like another victory for the people when the Chinese city of Ningbo announced the suspension on Sunday of a petrochemical project after days of street protests by citizens concerned it would pollute their community. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - It looked like another victory for the people when the Chinese city of Ningbo announced the suspension on Sunday of a petrochemical project after days of street protests by citizens concerned it would pollute their community.

It may turn out to be more complicated.

As China's increasingly affluent urban population battles back against the breakneck growth-at-all-costs model that has fuelled the economy for three decades, environmental activists say the apparently straightforward narrative that has played out several times in recent years - government backs down, citizens win - is simplistic.

A spokesman for the Ningbo government said in a statement on Sunday that there would be no further work done on the massive project, which includes a facility for the production of paraxylene (PX), a potentially harmful chemical used in making some plastics, pending further "scientific debate".

 
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