Thousands of demonstrators protesting against pollution from a paper factory in eastern China have clashed with police, an Agence France-Presse photographer says.

The protesters overturned two cars and invaded the local government offices in the coastal city of Qidong, near Shanghai, the photographer said.

Demonstrators seized bottles of liquor and wine from the offices along with cartons of cigarettes, items which Chinese officials frequently receive as bribes.

A photograph posted on Sina Weibo, the main Chinese microblogging service, showed some of the items displayed outside the government building.


Thousands of people had gathered in a square in front of the local government offices and in adjacent streets on Saturday morning as armed police arrived at the scene.

Protests against environmental degradation have increased in China, where three decades of rapid and unfettered industrial expansion have taken their toll.