22 October 2012
(c) 2012 Kyodo News
HONG KONG, Oct. 22 -- Opponents of a coal-fired power plant project in southern China's Hainan Province clashed with police during the past week, with dozens of people reported injured and 50 arrested in the country's latest environmental dispute, a Hong Kong-based rights group said Monday.
The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said the protesters threw rocks, bricks, and petrol bombs at police officers who responded by firing tear gas canisters.
Nearly 10,000 residents of Yinggehai Township took part in the protests over the weekend, gathering at night to avoid police surveillance, the center said.
Thousands of protesters also rallied at the Sanya City government building against the project.
Opponents of the power plant project say pollution would damage the town's fishery industry. The project was shelved earlier this year following local opposition.
The China Guodian Group, a state-owned enterprise, planned to build a 1,400-megawatt coal-burning power plant in Yinggehai in the southwestern part of the island this year, aiming to begin operation in 2014.
A provincial government spokesman said there were protests but denied any clashes between the protesters and police.