China may stop 'dragon project'
Dragons are important symbols in China
Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007
It was originally due to be completed in time for the 60th anniversary of Communist rule in 2009.
It is located on top of the Shizhu Mountain, which was designated a national forest park in 2005, in the central province of Henan.
The dragon is seen as a national symbol representing prosperity and good luck.
The Henan Environmental Protection Agency says it has sent a team to investigate the project that started without the necessary environmental assessments, Xinhua news agency reported.
"If the project fails our assessment, we will order it be stopped or the demolition of the completed part," an unidentified official with the administration was quoted as saying.
An online survey showed more than 90% of respondents disapproved of the dragon, Xinhua said.
"The planned dragon is like an expressway which will damage vegetation, affect the landscape and destroy the local ecological system," Wu Mingzuo, director of Henan Ecology Society, was quoted as saying.
"Shizu mountain is a symbol of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, who is considered the earliest ancestor of China," the Shanghai Daily quoted Dai Songcheng, director of the Henan institute of culture, as saying.
"Such an immense structure on the mountain top is disrespectful to Huangdi."