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Around China: Villagers win fight helping build a "beautiful China"

By Li Laifang (Xinhua)

10:13, December 24, 2012

HANGZHOU, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- After seven years Wo Yafei can finally enjoy the fresh bayberries she planted on a hill near her village thanks to the closure of an iron plant, the source of pollution to her fruit and the local environment.

The 51-year-old woman from Housuo Village, Ningbo City of eastern coastal Zhejiang Province said, "We used to eat the bayberries after picking them from the trees without washing. However, after the factory was built in 2004, people worried that the polluted fruit was harmful to their health and no one dared to eat them. Most of the village fruit rotted on the trees."

She recalled, "The air smelt strange and a thick layer of black dust would fall on the windowsill if the window was open for a long time."

Water in a local river was also contaminated.

Several months after Huaguang Stainless Steel Co. Ltd., started production, villagers demanded from the managers that they solve the pollution problem. However, they were beaten by the workers.

The protestors then decided to seal off the road to the plant. This failed to stop production.

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