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Cement factory around Madang Township, Gansu province, China

The pollution damaged a White Pagoda, livelihood and farming. The villagers protested by petitions or pacific protests; but the authorities responded by violence.


In the 1985, in the district of the city Madang Township, collocated in Gansu province the cement factory Xiahe Amdo Cement Co. was built; it employes around 600 people.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cement factory around Madang Township, Gansu province, China
State or province: Xiahe county in Gansu province, Kanlho“Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”(‘TAP’), the Tibetan area of Amdo.
Location of conflict:Ya Xiu village, Madang Township, Xiahe county
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Cement
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Amdo Cement Factory has around 600 employees. It opened as a state-owned enterprise, but privatized in 1998 and it has since become one of Gansu's major cement makers. During production, dozens of large-tonnage trucks arrive with raw materials and leave with cement goods, operating 24-hours a day at times and seriously damaging farming roads[5].

Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:15/05/2010
Company names or state enterprises: Xiahe Amdo Cement Co. from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Students for a free tibet:;
Save the Tibet:;
Canada Tibet Committee:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Villagers started to rebuild a road that was earlier blocked for the factory’s expansion. According to exile Tibetans with contact in the area, the Tibetans in Madang were preparing to rebuild a road leading to Yarshul (Ch: Yaxiu) village which had been made inaccessible by a road blockade by the Chinese authorities to expand the factory [5].
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Other Environmental impactsDue to the wanton discharge of large amounts of dust and pollutants, harvests at the farms of we villagers living in the areas surrounding the cement factory dropped sharply (the most serious drop was over 60%); and because grazing on the slopes was seriously polluted, not only was the rate of growth severely slowed, more importantly, cattle and sheep would no longer graze on the polluted grass slopes [2]
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Land dispossession, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The villagers in order to protect the natural environment where they live, they reported the illegal actions of the cement factory to the relevant environmental departments, and to central news and media departments and ministries awaiting an ultimate resolution[2]. It's a good outcome for the environmental justice and for the visibility to international level. In fact many articles and blogger spoke about this episode, trying to send a complain letter to the authorities[6]. But of course in front of indifference and possible corruption of the authorities, it is difficult to get environmental safety and the respect of rights.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Britain based Tibet Watch, “Environmental Protest on the Tibetan plateau”, January 2015
[click to view]

Green Tibet, Annual Newsletter 2011, Environment and Development Desk
[click to view]

[3] World Tibet Network News, 2. Police open fire at Tibetans protesting cement factory pollution, The Canada Tibet Committee, May 21, 2010
[click to view]

[4] Asianews, Gansu: police fires on Tibetan protesters, 15 wounded and four arrested, May 19, 2010
[click to view]

[5] Kalsang Rinchen, 15 Tibetans wounded as Chinese police open fire in Labrang, May 18 2010
[click to view]

[6]Nick Gulotta ,TAKE ACTION: CHINESE POLICE OPEN FIRE ON TIBETANS OVER CEMENT FACTORY PROTEST , Tibet will be free. The official blog of SFT, May 20, 2010
[click to view]

Canada Tibet Committee, TIBET - CHINA Gansu: police fires on Tibetan protesters, 15 wounded and four arrested, May 23, 2010
[click to view]

[click to view]

 [1] Radio Free Asia, Clash Over Cement Factory, May 18, 2010
[click to view]

 [2] Save the Tibet, Police open fire at Tibetans protesting cement factory pollution, May 17, 2010
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Myriam Bartolucci, EJAtlas internship researcher, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2310
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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