Environmental protests are becoming one of the biggest forms of social unrest in China. The latest protests took place on Thursday in the city of Kunming in Yunnan province over plans to build a petrochemical plant in the nearby city of Anning. It is the second protest over the refinery to be built by China National Petroleum Corp.
The refinery, if it goes ahead, will process more than 10 million tonnes of crude oil a year and 500,000 tons of the industrial chemical paraxylene (PX). China is the world’s largest producer of PX which is used in the process of manufacturing plastic bottles and other products and is carcinogenic.
According to some media reports, up to 2,500 people took to the streets today and the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that arrests had been made.