採訪/易如 編輯/李謙 後製/李智遠
Mass Protests Of Thousands Held on May 4th
May 4th is the anniversary of the May 4t Movement.
On this day in several regions in China, local people
held protests against local polluting projects.
In Kunming, Yunnan province, thousands of citizens
took to the streets, opposing a local oil refinery plant.
In Shanghai Songjiang district, thousands of people
besieged the city hall to resist a polluting battery plant.
In both cities, large numbers of police arrived at the scene,
however no clash ensued.
China’s netizen released a message, that Yunnan authorities
had approved Petro China’sPX project in Anning, Kunming city.
Local netizens then initiated a protest on May 4th.
On May 4th in Kunming—a large number of
local citizens gathered in public.
They all wore face masks with words:
“No PX Chemical Plant Wanted In Kunming.”
Holding banners and posters, the citizens
protested by talking a walk.
Sources said that about several thousand people
had participated in the protest.
Some netizens estimated that the event involved
over 100,000 people.
Local authorities alleged that
there were only 200 participants.
Reportedly, Anning Oil Refinery Plant is located
in Anning city, 30 km away from Kunming city.
The 18.5-billion-yuan project started in 2010, with an
estimated annual production of 7.8 million tons of refined oil.
Environmentalists believe it is creating pollution.
This may cause local people to have at least a four-fold
increased risk of developing cancers.
Photos show that the masses at the scene were
mostly young people.
Other participants included men, women and children.
The youngest protester, under the age of 10, held a poster
reading “Aunts & Uncles, Please give me clean air.”
The local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were
accused of black-box operations.
No environmental impact assessment was released
before the construction of the project.
The protesters called on local authorities not to pursue the
growth at the expense of the survival of future descendants.
A citizen warned that if the PX project doesn’t leave Kunming,
a more massive protest will be staged.
A large number of police were sent to the scene,
where they confronted the protesters.
Finally, the demonstrators dispersed safely.
(Columnist, China) Zhu Jianguo: “No clash indicates that
both sides were quite restrained.
Now it is during a sensitive period,
the memorial day of June 4th is coming.”
Zhu Jianguo analysed that the protesting citizens were
rational, and didn’t want to clash with the police.
Meanwhile, the Xi-Li administration aimed to suppress
the masses, but didn’t want to overdo it.
Thus, the authorities didn’t put them down
with violence, says Zhu.
Zhu Jianguo: “But the result doesn’t mean that
the society is turning to a good path.
The reason behind the protest was that Xi Jinping has only
treated the symptom, not the underlying problem.”
Zhu Jianguo comments that Xi Jinping hasn’t
sought to solve the crux of these conflicts.
Also, the CCP system has been rotten to the core,
which Xi has no ability to change.
Zhu Jianguo speculates that the civilians’ restraint may be due
to their remaining expectation on the Xi-Li new administration.
But the hope will be dashed sooner or later, he says,
and then the official-civilian clash will be fueled.
Critic Wang Beiji says that the Kunming mass protest
didn’t pose a real threat to the CCP.
That was why no crackdown has occurred.
Yet the organizers will certainly be put on the list
for the authorities’ later punishment, he says.
Wang Beiji: “The CCP has ruined everything in China:
water, air, natural environment, forests, food, basic survival necessities.
So all it has left to the people is an uprising to overthrow it.”
The same day in Shanghai Songjiang District,
thousands of citizens marched to the city hall.
They protested against a local project of battery plant,
which produces pollution to local waters.
Hundreds of police arrived at the scene and
confronted the protesters.
Zhu Jianguo: “The government in today’s China has mutated,
which differs from the previous regimes.
It puts every Chinese person under surveillance,
no previous governments could really do it.”
According to Zhu Jianguo, the CCP monitors Chinese civilians
via telephone, internet, and mobile phones.
Zhu thinks it is one reason that the CCP still exists.
In Sichuan’s Chengdu, the authorities have prevented a
planned mass protest. Lots of activists involved were arrested.
On May 4, a large number of soldiers and police
closed off the venue for the gathering.