China warns of punishment for protest against alloy plant
BEIJING (Reuters) - A city in southwest China has temporarily halted work on a copper alloy project and threatened to punish organizers of a two-day protest against it if they do not give themselves up, in the latest example of unrest spurred by the country's environmental woes.
Environmental worries have stoked calls for expanded rights for citizens and greater consultation in the tightly controlled one-party state. The outpouring of public anger is emblematic of the rising discontent facing Chinese leaders, who are obsessed with maintaining stability and struggling to balance growth with rising public anger over environmental threats.
Monday's protest turned violent after tens of thousands of residents of Shifang in Sichuan province stormed the city government headquarters, smashed police cars and clashed with thousands of anti-riot police, according to Hong Kong media.