Posted 21 September 2011, by Li Le, The Epoch Times, theepochtimes.com
A four-day protest outside a solar manufacturing plant in a small Chinese township illustrates the harsh realities of China’s green energy manufacturing boom. While China is producing solar products for export at cutthroat prices, Chinese people get none of the green benefits. Instead they have to put up with the manufacturers’ cancer-causing pollution and get beaten up by police if they talk about it.
Villagers from Yuanhua Township of Haining City in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province had enough of a local solar company’s pollution. Anywhere between five hundred and a thousand local people staged a four-day protest that began on Sept. 15, to try and hold Jinko Solar Holding Co. accountable for its pollution and force an investigation into local residents increased cancer rate.
Authorities dispatched riot police who injured many protesters. Two local reporters who were on location were beaten by the solar company’s employees.
Jinko Solar Holding Co. is a manufacturer of solar silicon wafers and ingots. It was established in 2006 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Local villagers told New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) that Jinko Solar Holding Co., has been discharging waste water since moving into the Hongxiao Village of Yuanghua Township in 2006. The pollution has caused fish to die and is threatening local people’s health.
Mr. Zhou, a villager, told The Epoch Times: “More than 10 villagers have developed leukemia and dozens have developed other cancers. We have been living in fear, and been constantly lodging complaints regarding the pollution to local authorities and the Jinko company.”
Because neither the authorities nor Jinko responded to their numerous requests, villagers went to the county government on Sept. 15 and demanded Jinko’s closure. But no one at the county government responded to them, so the villagers went on to Jinko’s, but were refused entry. Angry villagers then broke down the gate and rushed into the plant where they vandalized offices and work areas, Zhou said.
Jinko staff called the police, which quickly arrived, totaling one or two thousand. Police used tear gas to disperse people, injuring many, and took away an unknown number of villagers, according to Zhou.
One netizen said on a blog that he witnessed police beating even young girls and the elderly. He said he saw four police beating one elderly person.
Another netizen said: “A girl, aged 17 or 18, was chased and beaten into a coma and somehow fell into the river. Her body has not been recovered.”
Chinese media reported that protesters overturned eight cars in the solar company’s parking lot and damaged four police vehicles.
According to Zhejian Online News, Jinko staff beat two reporters from Zhejiang TV. The reporters’ video camera was also smashed and tapes were taken.
An NTDTV reporter called Jinko on the afternoon of Sept. 15. The person who answered acknowledged that there was a protest but would not provide details.
Haining municipal authorities announced on Sept. 17 that Jinko was ordered to stop production and that a villager surnamed Sun had been arrested for spreading “untruthful information” over the Internet.
Sun had posted information about the pollution produced by Jinko, saying it caused local people to have health problems.
Mr. Guo, a local resident, told The Epoch Times that a few years ago several young women working at Jinko had health checks because they weren’t able to get pregnant. Medical checkup revealed that they had radiation damage and would never be able to have children. After that came out, young women who planned on having families avoided working for the company, Guo said.
Some Internet postings said that the company is located 300 meters (984 ft.) away from a daycare center and only 100 meters away from an elementary school, and that the impact on the health of the children and neighboring residents is devastating.
According to latest reports by Chinese media, local authorities have detained 31 people, while Haning Environmental Protection Department fined Jinko 470,000 yuan (US$75,625).
Local villagers said they are not satisfied with the outcome; they want Jinko to leave Haning City.
The production of silicon involves high energy consumption and high pollution, Hu Chuli, director of the Institute for Industrial and Technical Economic Studies, National Development and Reform Commission, said at China’s Low Carbon Technology Innovation Forum on Dec. 17, 2010.
Hu pointed out that in the solar photovoltaic industry, China accounts for more than 40 percent of the world’s silicon production, yet Chinese people do not have the privilege to enjoy this kind of clean energy at all, because 95 percent of the production is for export.
In fact, the most unique characteristic of China’s solar photovoltaic industry is that production and resource consumption occur inside China, whereas product use and conservation of energy takes place outside of China, according to Meng Xiangan, secretary general of China Renewable Energy Society.
Hong Kong scholar and economics commentator, Larry Hsien Ping Lang said, “China protects the environment of other countries by exporting green products, but keeps all the pollution inside the country.”
Low labor cost in China, as well as disregard for the environment, and government subsidies to domestic enterprises make it often impossible for foreign companies to compete with Chinese manufacturing. California’s solar industry is an example according to Xia Ming, professor of political science at the City University of New York. Because of price subsidies paid by the Chinese regime and low labor costs, Solyndra, a California Solar company, announced bankruptcy on Aug. 31 Xia told the Epoch Times for a previous report.
Read the original Chinese article.