China shuts solar panel plant after pollution protests

Chinese authorities have shut down a solar panel factory at Haining in eastern China today after hundreds of angry residents staged violent protests over pollution for days together.

Some 500 villagers staged protests for three days following the death of large numbers of fish in a local river.

Some demonstrators broke into the factory, operated by the US-listed company Jinko Solar, destroying offices and overturning company cars before being dispersed by riot police.

Tests on water samples showed high levels of fluoride, which can be toxic in high doses, officials said.

A sign at the entrance to the factory today announced the temporary closure, which came a month after authorities agreed to relocate the plant.

The city government said it had imposed a fine of 470,000 yuan ($73,550) on Jinko Solar, which has more than 10,000 employees working in plants in eastern China.