Chinese police ‘fire tear-gas and beat protesters’

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
By Paul Martin
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Police fired tear-gas and beat demonstrators who stormed government buildings in southern China on Tuesday to protest against a power plant, witnesses said, in the latest violent unrest to hit the country.

Residents of Haimen, a town in the province of Guangdong, are demanding the coal-fired plant be moved, saying it is damaging their health, demonstrators told AFP by telephone.

They said a 15-year-old boy had been killed and more than 100 others badly beaten by riot police, although this could not be independently confirmed.

AFP calls to the local government in the town of Haimen went unanswered. A woman contacted by telephone at the local public security bureau denied there was unrest in the town.

Haimen is only around 115 kilometres (70 miles) northeast of Wukan village, where residents are in open revolt against the local government after what they say is years of illegal land grabs.

There is no indication that the protests are related, but they are part of an upsurge in social unrest in Guangdong, China’s wealthiest province and the country’s manufacturing hub.

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