Jinnan is one of nine villages under the jurisdiction of Jinling Hui ethnic township in Zibo, a prefecture-level city in the centre of Shandong. Jinling Hui town is entirely located within the 22-square-kilometre Qilu Chemical Industrial Zone, according to the township government.
Since 2002 the area has been co-developed by the provincial government and the giant China Petrochemical Corporation, or Sinopec. But the history of the industry in the area dates back to 1966, when Qilu Petrochemical moved into Zibo.
The industrial zone is an important source of revenue for the province. In 2010 its output reached 71.5 billion yuan (HK$88.6 billion). A billboard lists details of 26 companies in the area, each with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan, which produce all manner of essential chemicals for plastics, coatings, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, ceramics and other goods.
But the development has encroached on local villages, which are now separated only by a road from a large stretch of chemical plants. Tanks laden with hazardous or flammable chemicals line the road. Various unpleasant odours fill the air as you drive by the different factories.