By Tom Bannister
The Chinese government has allowed a rare protest to take place in Beijing. The state is wary of protests anywhere, but those that develop in the nation’s capital are particularly sensitive and usually prohibited. However on Sunday local residents in the Chaoyang district were able to proceed with their demonstration against a new high-speed rail-line that ran through their neighbourhood. Reuters reports:
Residents told Reuters they were concerned the new line from Beijing to the northeastern city of Shenyang would run too close to their apartments and local schools, causing excess noise and electromagnetic radiation.
They also complained the government had refused to listen to their concerns and accused them of faking an environmental impact assessment.
“I only knew this line was planned two weeks ago when I got a letter from the government thanking me for my support,” said a protester who gave her family name as Zhang. “But neither me nor any of the other residents support this. They are inventing things.”