31 July 2012, 09:53 BST
Once again, Chinese citizens have taken to the streets to fight successfully for an environmental cause.
10,000 residents in China's coastal city of Qidong (across the Yangtze River from Shanghai) clashed with police last week when they gathered to demand suspension of new waste pipeline proposed for a local paper factory run by a venture associated with Japan's Oji Paper Co.
Various news organizations report that somewhere along the way, the protests turned violent, resulting in damage to computers and offices in the local government building and to police vehicles. That prompted the city to call in hundreds of police officers in riot gear to calm things down.
Days later, local officials pledged publicly to suspend the pipeline project.
"The government noticed our citizens have paid high attention to the project that reflected your good wishes to the development and environment of the homeland," said Qidong's vice mayor Zhang Jiansin, in a video posted on the city's Web site.
Although Oji Paper has said it treats discharge water before releasing it outside the facility, the protesters alleged that the new pipeline would pollute the sea near Qidong, a city of 1 million people that is home to one of China's four major fishing grounds. Some had also suggested the discharge could pollute a local reservoir.
The incident is the latest example of confrontations over the environmental impact of new industrial projects in China, as the nation experiences the growing pains of being the world's second largest economy.
Last year, protesters succeeded in closing a chemical factory in Dalian in northeast China. In June, thousands gathered to protest the construction of a $1.6 billion molybdenum copper plant in Shifan, which is in the southwest. That project has also been suspended.
Willy Wo-Lop Lam, an adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that Chinese authorities have become more willing to respond to protests that are not perceived as anti-government.
"If a protest is regarded as basically economic and environmental in nature, they are more willing to strike a deal," he told Bloomberg.