Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in a renewed protest against a proposed chemical plant in China.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered outside the Yunnan provincial government office in Kunming demanding the suspension of the Kunming factory which will produce paraxylene (PX), a toxic petrochemical used to make fabrics.

The government says the plant is essential to the local economy and vowed to meet environmental standards. But protesters fear it will only aggravate air and water pollution in China.

According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Kunming’s Mayor Li Wenrong has promised that “the government will call off the project if most of our citizens say no to it”.

A petition signed by over 14,000 people has also been posted on the White House website asking the US government to “remonstrate with the Chinese government” over the plant, reports BBC.

The people said the plant “would jeopardize human health” because reliable “scientific assessments” had not been made on the potentially carcinogenic substance.