The recent public debate over the planned development of a chemical plant in Xiamen, Fujian Province, appears to have reached a conclusion.
According to media reports, the local government has agreed to move the plant to another city because of environmental and health concerns.
Xiamen, coastal city of Fujian Province
At a meeting on Saturday, provincial leaders agreed to move the 10.8-billion-yuan (US$1.46 billion) plant to the Gulei Peninsula, near the city of Zhangzhou, Hong Kong's Da Kung Po newspaper said.
The Xiamen government will compensate the Xianglu Chemical Fiber Corporation, the principal investor, Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao newspaper said.
The relocation still needs to be approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, it said.
"Although this is a large project - and a good one too - the fact that so many people are against it requires us to carefully consider the matter from a scientific, democratic and public viewpoint," provincial Party chief Lu Zhangong was quoted as saying.
Zhu Qing, director of the Fujian government's information office, said the issue "is still under discussion and relevant information will be released through official sources".
However, he did not deny the plant's possible relocation, the Shanghai Daily reported.
At a two-day hearing held last Friday and Saturday, just 15 of the 121 representatives of the public supported construction of the plant in Xiamen's Haicang district, 16 km from the city center.
The representatives were invited to attend the meeting following the release of an environmental assessment report on the project by the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.
(China Daily December 20, 2007)