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August 1, 2009

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Oil Plant Relocation Decision Hailed

CHINA'S decision to shift the location of a planned US$5 billion oil refinery and petrochemical plant in the south after years of public outcry is a sign that environmental concerns can shape policy.

Wang Yang, the Communist Party chief of Guangdong Province, said the province would move the plant to an unnamed location because of opposition from the community and lawmakers. The project is a joint venture between China's Sinopec Corp and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

"We only have one planet to live on, so whatever we do on this end will affect others on the other end," Wang told a news conference on Thursday.

Environmental activists applauded the move, saying it reflected China's commitment to tackling climate change.

"The decision by the government shows that they do consider the opinions from different stakeholders across the region, which is a positive sign," said Edward Chan, a Greenpeace campaign manager based in Hong Kong.


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