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Protest over factory pollution in E China enters third day

(Xinhua)

15:19, September 18, 2011

HANGZHOU - Hundreds of villagers in East China's Zhejiang Province protested for the third day on Saturday at a solar panel manufacturer, whose parent is a New York-listed firm, over concerns of its harmful wastes.

More than 500 people from Hongxiao Village started to gather in front of the factory of Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co, Ltd located in the city of Haining on Thursday night, demanding explanation on the death of a large swath of fish in a nearby river last month, local officials said.

Angry protesters on Thursday stormed the factory compound, overturned eight company vehicles, and destroyed the offices before police came to disperse the crowd.

The protest continued on the two following nights with reports of scuffle, the officials said.

Chen Hongming, a deputy head of Haining's environmental protection bureau, said the factory's waste disposal had failed the pollution tests since April.

The environmental watchdog has warned the factory but it had not effectively controlled the pollution, Chen added.

Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co, Ltd, founded in 2006, is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-invested JinkoSolar Holding Co, Ltd (NYSE Stock Code: JKS), listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2010.

The company produces mono- and multi-crystalline photovoltaics panels,cells, and wafers, and sells the solar products to the world. It employs more than 10,000 professionals in two factories in east China and has offshore offices and warehouse in the United States and Europe, according to the company website (www.jinkosolar.com).

There has been no statement on the incident on the company's website and the company was not immediately available for comment.

Protests over pollution concerns have spawned across China over the past few years. In August, a petrochemical plant in northern city of Dalian was shut down after a dozen thousand residents took to streets to demand its relocation over concerns of potential toxic chemical leaks.

A similar massive protest in 2007 forced the authorities in southeastern city of Xiamen to scrap a plan to build the similar petrochemical plant.

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