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Thousands of police, other steps silence protest against petrochemical plant in Chinese city [China]

Author: Associated Press, Published on: 4 May 2013

Hundreds of people - many wearing mouth masks - gathered in Kunming to protest a planned refinery project…owned by PetroChina…Residents say they are worried the plant would pollute the air and water, and question why the plant is being built in a region prone to earthquakes…In Chengdu, local authorities have been taking pre-emptive measures to stop local residents from taking to the street…[P]olice station has asked drugstores to report anyone buying large quantities of mouth masks, and for printing services to inform police immediately of those printing…materials with phrases such as “Petro Project”…[A] local woman…said her friends at state-owned companies were threatened with expulsion if they should protest…In a company statement...[PetroChina] said the project has been approved by China’s environmental protection agency and the National Development and Reform Commission, and that it has been evaluated for earthquake safety. It also promised to halt production should any environmental issue arise…

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Related companies: PetroChina (part of China National Petroleum Corporation)