From China Dialogue:
Residents of the southeast China city of Xiamen (also known as Amoy) had been waiting six months for a review that they thought would decide the fate of the city’s controversial plans for a petrochemical plant manufacturing paraxylene (PX) . They hoped it would mean their families could continue to live in the idyllic coastal city without a toxic chemical plant moving in next door.
The report was published on December 5, and concluded that space was limited in Haicang, the southern district of Xiamen where the plant was slated to be built. The city government should decide, it said, whether to develop the area as a petrochemical industrial zone or as a secondary city centre. The implication was that the industrial zone should not border a residential area. The city should either relocate the chemical plant, or relocate the residents. The report was reassuring, but the locals do not feel safe. The key was not what the report said, but how it was used – and it turned out their initial hopes may have been misplaced. The report may not actually help the decision-making process, despite the wishes of the residents and environmental officials. [Full Text]