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South China town unrest cools after dialogue

Tenuous calm returned to a south China town that was the scene of violent clashes between police and protesters this week.

Updated: Dec 24, 2011, 21:45 PM IST

Beijing: Tenuous calm returned on Saturday to a
south China town that was the scene of violent clashes between
police and protesters this week, after local residents said
officials had agreed to a dialogue.

Locals of Haimen township who had gathered for a
fourth day yesterday to protest against a planned power plant
expansion -- throwing bricks and getting hit by police tear
gas -- said the peace could be temporary.

"It is quiet today so far, but I don`t know if this
will last this afternoon," a travel agent who gave only his
surname, Lin, said.

State-run local television yesterday broadcast a
message from nearby Shantou City Communist Party officials
promising at least a temporary stop to plans to expand
state-run Huaneng Power`s coal-fired plant, Lin said.

"The party secretary of the discipline and inspection
committee in Shantou said on TV last night that this power
plant will be stopped temporarily. He didn`t say they will
give up the plan. He was just trying to calm the people."
Another resident who declined to give his name said,
"It is quiet now and we have temporarily accepted the
government`s suggestions after the dialogue between us and the
government."

PTI