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Zhuxi Industrial Park in Huaxi, Dongyang, Zhejiang, China

In April 2005, thousands of people rioted in a village in southeastern China, overturning police cars and driving away officers who had tried to stop elderly villagers protesting against pollution from nearby factories in a chemical park.


Dongyang County is located in Jinhua Municipality, Zhejiang, about a two-hour drive from Hangzhou.  Huashui (画水) is one of the less-well-off towns in a prosperous region and is known for its plastic recycling. The Huashui Town government oversees 18 “administrative villages”, most of which are further divided into “natural villages”.  Huaxi (画溪) is an administrative village which is composed of six natural villages.[1]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Zhuxi Industrial Park in Huaxi, Dongyang, Zhejiang, China
State or province:Zhejiang
Location of conflict:Huaxi Village (used to be a town), Huashui Town, Dongyang County, Jinhua City
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Chemical industries
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Chemical products
Trifluralin, ammonium bifluoride, Tricyclazole, etc.
Project Details and Actors
Project details

At its peak, the park contained 13 factories, mainly producers of chemicals, pesticides, dye and pharmaceuticals. Nearly all the factories generated a substantial amount of water and air pollution.

Project area:64
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectunknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:20,000
Start of the conflict:2001
End of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Dongnong Chemical Industry Limited Company (dongnong) from China
MAX (Dongyang) Chemicals Co., Ltd. (MAX) from United States of America
Relevant government actors:-Dongyang Government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Societies of Senior Citizens
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Societies of Senior Citizens
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Shareholder/financial activism.
Property damage/arson
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Genetic contamination
Other Environmental impactsExcessive fluoride in agro products, vegetables didn't grow
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsThe poisonous fumes also led to deformed babies being born in the village, with residents also fearing for the safety of children in two schools that are less than 100m away from the park.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Specific impacts on women
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood
Other socio-economic impactsincreased costs for villagers to buy food from outside
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The local villagers forced 11 polluting factories off their land, but there are still more problems related. One is the long-term environmental and health impacts, and the other issue is that the local people are still keen to the plastics recycling business in the next years.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Deng, Yanhua, and Guobin Yang. "Pollution and protest in China: Environmental mobilization in context." The China Quarterly 214 (2013): 321-336.
[click to view]

[6] Briggs, Adam. 2006. “China’s pollution victims: still seeking a dependable remedy.” Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 18 (2), 305–334.
[click to view]

[10] Deng, Yanhua, and Kevin J. O'Brien. "Societies of senior citizens and popular protest in rural Zhejiang." The China Journal 71 (2014): 172-188.
[click to view]

[1] 百度百科:画溪镇
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[2] 浙江东阳环保纠纷冲突真相
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[7] Thousands of Chinese Villagers Protest Factory Pollution
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[8] Chinese Riot Over Pollution
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[9]污染引发冲突事件调查 画水镇一年生了5个怪胎
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[12] Chem plants at Huaxi, China shut after pollution protests
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[14]沉寂5年竹溪工业园现又热闹起来 画水让我重新看你
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Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3427
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