China shelves uranium plant project

China Featured - July 15th, 2013
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China has scrapped plans to build a uranium processing plant in southern Guangdong province a day after hundreds of people took to the streets in protest.

State-run China National Nuclear Corporation said in a statement on the Heshan city government’s website that it had cancelled plans to build the 230-hectare Longwan Industrial Park project “in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses” and “respect people’s desires”.

The swift decision came after hundreds marched to city offices demanding officials to pledge an extension of public consultation on the proposed the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) project, Reuters reports.

The project has also caused unease in neighboring Hong Kong and Macau, the South China Morning Post reported.

Chinese authorities were forced to back down in the face of pressure from an increasingly vigilant public, reports Bloomberg.

“Chinese civil society is getting stronger,” said Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“People now realize if their numbers are big enough, if they are united and stand their ground, the government will back down,” he said.