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Chinese Police Shoot Tear Gas at Crowds Upset Over Copper Plant

A city in southwest China halted construction of a Sichuan Hongda Co. copper plant, officials said yesterday, the same day that police fired tear gas at protesters who argued the project would pollute the environment.

Construction was stopped because the public “doesn’t understand, isn’t clear and isn’t supportive” of the project, according to the statement on the Shifang city government’s website.

Clashes between demonstrators and police on July 2 hurt at least 13 protesters and “many” officers, the state-run People’s Daily said on its website yesterday. The protests were broken up with tear gas and stun grenades as attacks on police worsened, the report said.

Trading of Sichuan Hongda’s shares was suspended in Shanghai today, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said today. The company needs to clarify media reports, the statement said, without providing details.

Shares of Sichuan Hongda have fallen 3.7 percent so far this year.

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