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Taitung initiates new environmental evaluation over controversial resort

The China Post news staff--The Taitung government restarted an environmental evaluation process for a controversial beach resort project yesterday, as activists demanded that it be abandoned.

During a two-hour meeting that allowed citizens to express their opinions, the evaluation committee heard from both the supporting and opposing sides, but did not reach a conclusion.

About 200 protesters were rallying outside the venue of the meeting. At one point, the meeting was disrupted by the protesters and the police had to force them away.

The protesters claimed that the fresh round of evaluations is illegitimate.

The highest administration court already handed down a final verdict in January voiding the construction license for the project because of flaws in the previous environmental evaluation, they noted.

The protesters demanded that the unfinished structure of the resort be demolished.

The developer promised the committee that the development will follow the strictest requirements for protecting the environment.

Taitung County's Deputy Magistrate Chang Chi-yi, who presided over the meeting, said the government hopes to see a solution that can satisfy both sides.

Work on the project has been suspended since the administration court's January verdict.

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