Bay Area Chinese-American activists were key to publicizing the protests of tens of thousands of Chinese in Dalian, China, who called for the Fujia Chemical Plant in Liaoning Province to relocate due to a toxic leak and pollution. Under tremendous pressure from protesters, the government of Dalian, China today ordered a chemical plant to stop production.

The World Journal interviewed Feng Congde, who was a student leader in the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, and now lives in the Bay Area.

Feng has been working with other Bay Area Internet activists who remain underground due to their ties in China. Among them is Feng Zheng, whose legs were crushed by a tank during the Tiananmen Square protests when he was trying to save a female student.

Feng Congde told the World Journal that the Chinese government is supposed to protect its citizens, but instead, there have been too many scandals involving industrial pollution, such as the melamine-contaminated milk powder in 2008, which lead to the deaths of hundreds of infants.

Chemical plants are supposed to be built in remote places, but given the example of the Fujia Chemical Plant, it appears that the Chinese government isn't following this international policy, said Feng. He credited this to government officials' collusion with businessmen, both of whom take advantage of residents.

Feng said that China shouldn't only focus on economic development, but must also move toward democracy. The Jasmine Revolution in the Middle East was instructive, he noted, for those in China who are hoping to have a similar revolution using the Internet.

Although the chemical plant has stopped production, residents of China's Liaoning Province don't know where the government plans to relocate the plant and many are still worried.

Feng said Bay Area civil rights activists plan to continue helping Chinese in their homeland, and using the Internet to publicize news stories online that have been censored in China.