Over 1,000 Take To The Streets In China To Protest Oil Refinery - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Over 1,000 Take To The Streets In China To Protest Oil Refinery

Photo from NBC Photo from NBC

By Ed Flanagan, Producer, NBC News

BEIJING – Over 1,000 chanting demonstrators took to the streets of the southern Chinese city of Kunming on Thursday to protest plans for a state oil refinery - the latest sign of popular anger at environmental pollution.

Some carried signs emblazoned with, "PX… Get out of Kunming," in reference to paraxylene, a chemical used to make plastic products. If inhaled or absorbed, paraxylene can damage to the central nervous system.

Protesters who spoke to NBC News put the number of demonstrators at around 1,000, while The Associated Press reported that about 2,500 had attended. There was no explanation for the discrepancy and Kunming police declined to comment. 

The Kunning demonstration - the second in the city this month - comes amid growing anger against pollution and environmental degradation brought on by unchecked economic development throughout China.

"We don't need speedy development. What we need is a healthy and peaceful country," Kunming resident Liu Yuncheng told The Associated Press. "I still haven't given birth to a baby. I want to be pregnant and I want a healthy baby."

China National Petroleum Corp's (CNPC) construction of paraxylene-producing petrochemical plants has sparked protests from Ningo to Xiamen. In the case of Ningbo, thousands of residents clashed with police in October, eventually prompting officials there to halt construction of an installation.

Protesters in Kunming told NBC News by telephone that they had tried to march towards city hall, but were stopped by police who formed a security cordon around them.  By mid-afternoon, demonstrators had filtered through the blocks by using side streets, effectively ending the protest.

In Kunming, local government and company officials have tried to assuage health concerns by assuring residents that the plant would maintain strict environmental standards, and not necessarily produce paraxylene.

These assurances did not assuage many residents' fears.

"I don't know if this protest will be effective or not," one organizer said. "But if the government continues to build this plant, I'll keep protesting.

Another protester said she had been pulled in for questioning by local authorities this week for about nine hours. She did not participate in Thursday's protest.

Officials from CNPC were not available for comment.

According to the South China Morning Post, officials successfully blocked a similar protest against another proposed CNPC refinery in the provincial capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu.  Government officials announced an earthquake drill and effectively sealed off a number of landmarks where the rally had been planned, the newspaper reported.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 18-year-old man arrested for vehicular homicide after fatal crash south of Ritzville on Highway 395

    18-year-old man arrested for vehicular homicide after fatal crash south of Ritzville on Highway 395

    Monday, May 29 2017 6:12 PM EDT2017-05-29 22:12:23 GMT

    ADAMS COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol one person has died following a one-car collision south of Ritzville Monday morning. Troopers say the crash happened on Highway 395 about 24 miles south of Ritzville. The 2005 Chevy Trailblazer was headed north on 395 at a high rate of speed when the driver 18-year-old Jaciel Parra of Victor, Idaho, fell asleep at the wheel.

    >>

    ADAMS COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol one person has died following a one-car collision south of Ritzville Monday morning. Troopers say the crash happened on Highway 395 about 24 miles south of Ritzville. The 2005 Chevy Trailblazer was headed north on 395 at a high rate of speed when the driver 18-year-old Jaciel Parra of Victor, Idaho, fell asleep at the wheel.

    >>
  • Golfer Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges

    Golfer Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges

    Monday, May 29 2017 12:58 PM EDT2017-05-29 16:58:17 GMT

    JUPITER, Fla. - Golfer Tiger Woods was arrested on charges of driving under the influence early Monday morning in Jupiter, Florida. Woods lives in Jupiter Island and was taken into custody at around 3:00 a.m. Palm Beach County Jail records indicate Woods was released from custody at 10:50 a.m.

    >>

    JUPITER, Fla. - Golfer Tiger Woods was arrested on charges of driving under the influence early Monday morning in Jupiter, Florida. Woods lives in Jupiter Island and was taken into custody at around 3:00 a.m. Palm Beach County Jail records indicate Woods was released from custody at 10:50 a.m.

    >>
  • PHOTOS: Northern Lights dazzle across the region

    PHOTOS: Northern Lights dazzle across the region

    Sunday, May 28 2017 9:28 PM EDT2017-05-29 01:28:09 GMT

    KHQ.com - If you were up late Saturday night and looking up at the sky, you were treated to a beautiful light show courtesy of Mother Nature. Independence Day fireworks are still about a month away, but Saturday's Northern Lights display was just as dazzling. Several of you shared your photos with us. Click through the slide show above to see some of the photos sent to us.

    >>

    KHQ.com - If you were up late Saturday night and looking up at the sky, you were treated to a beautiful light show courtesy of Mother Nature. Independence Day fireworks are still about a month away, but Saturday's Northern Lights display was just as dazzling. Several of you shared your photos with us. Click through the slide show above to see some of the photos sent to us.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th

    Friday, May 26 2017 5:02 PM EDT2017-05-26 21:02:47 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    >>
  • $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:02 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:02:32 GMT
    (Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)(Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    >>

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    >>
  • Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Friday, May 26 2017 9:02 PM EDT2017-05-27 01:02:03 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    >>