Chinese police used tear-gas and baton charges to disperse Tibetan villagers protesting a mine project in Qinghai's Yulshul Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on July 7, following two months of demonstrations at the site. Rsidents said the project at a site called Upper Dechung was undertaken without informing the local inhabitants. Several were hospitalized following the police assault, including a 70-year-old man. There are also concerns for the whereabouts of a delegation of some 50 villagers who went to complain to provincial authorities about the mine, and have not been heard from since. The mine was seemingly initiated by private interests with little or no government oversight. "Local people suspect corruption is involved in connection with this joint venture," a source told Radio Free Asia.
There have been other such conflicts in the area in recent years. Protests of this kind have been going on for several years. In 2015, local Tibetans took to the streets to protest illegal mines in the Tsojang (Chinese: Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The region is rich in iron, copper, limestone and other minerals. However, unregulated mining has caused significant environmental damage, incudling water pollution, loss of pasture land, and the destruction of Tibetan sacred sites. (AsiaNews)