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Chinese Protesters Stand Up Against Chemical Plant

Residents ride past a burning public security kiosk during a protest against a chemical plant project, on a street in Maoming, Guangdong province, China, early on April 1, 2014. Reuters

Protests against a proposed chemical plant in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong spread to the provincial capital on Tuesday, even as authorities signaled they may back down on construction plans in attempt to head off more unrest.

Public anger has grown since graphic photos surfaced on Chinese social networks early this week, showing demonstrators in the nearby city of Maoming - the location of the proposed plant - lying bloodied on the streets as rows of paramilitary police marched in formation.

The images of violence - which could not be independently verified by Reuters - have caused an outcry on Chinese social media, though many were later removed by censors.

On Sunday, hundreds of Maoming residents poured into the streets protesting against the plant producing paraxylene, a petrochemical used in making fabric and plastic bottles, and environmental degradation.

Protesters on Tuesday renewed calls for an end to the chemical plant project, as well as justice for those who they believe were hurt or killed at the hands of paramilitary police on Sunday.

— Reuters

Image: Demonstrators throw bricks at riot police officers, as they protest against a chemical plant project, on a street in Maoming
Demonstrators throw bricks at riot police officers, as they protest against a chemical plant project, on a street in Maoming, Guangdong province, China on March 31, 2014. Reuters