China Shuts Down Solar Panel Plant after Protests

Posted September 19th, 2011 at 2:25 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Chinese state media reports Monday said authorities have ordered the temporary closure of a solar panel plant in eastern China after local villagers staged four days of protests, accusing the facility of spreading cancer-causing pollution.

The protests began on Thursday, when more than 500 people gathered in eastern Zhejiang province to demand an explanation for the death of large numbers of fish in a nearby river.

The villagers said industrial pollution had caused at least 31 cases of cancer among residents of Hongxiao village, which is part of Haining city.

One villager said her family is frightened even to open their windows at night.

The official Xinhua news agency said the demonstrators broke into the Jinko Solar factory, ransacking offices and overturning vehicles before being forced back by police. They camped out in front of the factory until riot police arrived late Sunday.

The factory is the second to be closed by authorities in response to public protests. Last month, officials ordered the shutdown of a petrochemical plant in the northeastern port of Dalian after thousands of people gathered outside government offices in the city to demand the relocation of the facility.

A company website says Jinko Solar, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, employs more than 10,000 people in plants located in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.