The southwestern Chinese city of Kunming has a reputation for being one of China's sleepier provincial capitals, a place famous for its pleasant weather and laid-back vibe. But twice in the past month, Kunming has played host to major protests over the planned construction of an paraxylene (PX) plant in the nearby city of Anning. The protests, which involved a crowd of between one and two thousand people, led Kunming's mayor Li Weirong to offer to halt construction of the plant if enough people wished to do so.
Why China Can Handle Social Unrest
Recent protests in Kunming reveal an increasing consciousness of environmental rights in the country. But do they threaten the Communist Party's grip on power?