Protests against a planned chemical plant have spread over to Guangzhou after being quelled in Maoming, reports the Financial Times.
Two to three hundred protesters are demonstrating outside the provincial government in the capital to stop construction of the proposed PX (paraxylene) factory.
The Maoming protest picked up popular support when pictures of violence against protesters were published in social media like Weibo. A total of four people were said to have died as a result of clashes against police.
As told to the Financial Times, a protest organizer named Mr Dai said, “Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong, so we can have more influence here; many people in Guangzhou are unaware of the Maoming protest. We want the public to know about the violence used by the Maoming local government.”
For its part, the local authorities have denied that any deaths or violence occurred at the protests and have stated that they will submit to the opinion of the majority, a turn from its previous position that the protest was an “illegal act”.
While “Maoming” appeared to be a banned Weibo search term on Monday, it is not at present. News and photos of the Maoming protest continue to spread online, as seen here. This post shows a building on fire.
Alongside such unverified news on Weibo can be found this infographic (below) that shows the precise number of PX chemical plants located across China and their annual production of PX. According to this infographic, there already are two PX-producing chemical plants in Guangdong (Zhuhai and Huizhou) that produce a total of 15.4 million tons of PX annually.
Photo credit: Straits Times