China's Qidong pipeline protest ends with guilty pleas

Local residents stand on smashed cars as they occupy the local government building during a protest against an industrial waste pipeline under construction in Qidong Huge crowds gathered to protest against the pipeline project

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Fourteen people have pleaded guilty to charges of "encouraging mass violence" during a protest in the city of Qidong, Chinese state media say.

Government offices were stormed as thousands of people demonstrated against a proposed waste water pipeline project in July 2012.

The project, which local people said would pollute coastal waters, was subsequently scrapped.

Defendants would be sentenced at a later date, Xinhua news agency said.

The protest was one of a series of high-profile incidents in which local people have objected to development or industrial projects on environmental grounds.


In Qidong, the pipeline was proposed by a paper-making company.

As thousands of people turned out, the local Communist Party chief and the mayor were stripped of their shirts by angry protesters who wanted them to wear T-shirts bearing an anti-pollution slogan.

The 14 defendants were tried on Wednesday. Prosecutors said their "violent behaviour caused property losses, injured police officers and severely disrupted public order", Xinhua reported.

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