Protest against proposed relocation of Gaoqiao paraxylene (PX) plant into Jinshan, Shanghai, China

Protests against the construction of a new PX plant in Jinshan District, Shanghai have taken place throughout a week as frustration builds over plans to relocate chemical plants to the district.


There have been numerous protests in recent years focused on petrochemical plants that produce paraxylene, known as PX, a chemical used in making polyester fibre and plastics. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of PX and polyester, vital for the country’s textile and plastics industry. PX plants are especially unwelcome in China because they release PM2.5, a particle which contributed to a higher rate of death than the amount of deaths from smoking, and to which deaths from air pollution are sometimes largely attributed. The first PX protest was in 2007[1], when over ten thousand residents of Xiamen in Fujian province ‘went for a walk’ to oppose the construction of a large PX plant near a residential area. Similar protests took place in Dalian in 2011[2], Jiujiang[3] and Ningbo in 2012[4]. In May 2013, some residents in Kunming marched to protest the Anning PX (paraxylene) Project[5], Chengdu residents opposed the Pengzhou Petrochemical Project [6].  But PX and other chemical plants have also become unwelcome because of large-scale injuries and disruption caused from plant disasters. PX plants have been the object of large-scale protests in the past, for example, where thousands demonstrated against the planned building of PX plants in Maoming, Guangdong in April 2014, protests turned violent with police actions [7]. The explosion of a petrochemical plant that produced PX in Zhangzhou, Fujian in 2013 and 2015 also led to the injuries of hundreds and the evacuation of over 30,000. [8] Of course, these incidents, too, were underreported on media.

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Basic Data
NameProtest against proposed relocation of Gaoqiao paraxylene (PX) plant into Jinshan, Shanghai, China
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Chemical industries
Specific CommoditiesPX - paraxylene
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSinopec Gaoqiao Caojing Integral Refinery Project: 20 million tons/year oil refining (15 million tons/year oil refining project +500 tons/year lubricating oil removal project), 100 million tons / year ethylene and its downstream supporting processing equipment

Whole budget for the relocation: 600bn CNY
Level of Investment (in USD)10,000,000,000.00
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population700,000
Start Date20/06/2015
End Date30/06/2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesSinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co. Ltd (Sinopec Gaoqiao) from China
Relevant government actors-Jinshan District Government

-Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
using the phrase 'take a walk'(sàn bù) instead of protest, march or demonstration
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Fires, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.So far it seems to be a success as the project is canceled according to many reports, but Sinopec Gaoqiao still needs to be relocated to somewhere due to its insecure aging equipment.
Sources and Materials

王晶. 2007 年以来 “PX 事件” 的网络舆论研究. MS thesis. 南京大学, 2016.
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[6] Paraxylene (PX) plant expansion in Pengzhou, Sichuan, China
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[7] Violent protests against planned paraxylene (PX) plant in Maoming, Guangdong, China
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[9] Shanghai residents throng streets in ‘unprecedented’ anti-PX protest
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[10] China Unleashes Police, Internet Censors on Anti-PX Plant Protesters in Shanghai
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[11] Shanghai Denies PX Plans as Thousands Protest Over Pollution Fears
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[13] Shanghai protesters fear chemical plant plan still on, despite government claims
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[14]上海石化在线微博 Weibo Post of Sinopec Shanghai
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[1] Controversy over planned paraxylene (PX) plant in Xiamen, Fujian, China
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[2] The Fujia Petrochemical Paraxylene (PX) Plant protest in Dalian, Liaoning, China
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[3] Controversy over planned paraxylene (PX) plant construction in Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China
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[4] Controversy over planned paraxylene (PX) plant expansion in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China
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[5] Opposing paraxylene (PX) plant in the PetroChina 10 Million tons/year Refinery, Kunming, Yunnan, China
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[8] Opposition to PX plant in Zhangzhou and explosion accidents, Fujian, China
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[12] The End of June in Shanghai
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[15] China Galaxy A-Share Research Key Ideas
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Media Links

Shanghai Against PX protest parade June2015 上海反PX万人游行01
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上海万人示威反PX之6月27日晚上 anti-PX protest shanghai (一)
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Shanghai Against PX protest parade June2015 上海反PX万人游行02
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Jinshan, China - PX chemical plant protest
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Other Documents

No PX "PX Out!" "Give us back our Jinshan!" "Gaoqiao Get out!" "Protect Citizen's Health, Protect Jinshan's Environment!" "Respect Public Opinion!"
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ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update06/10/2017