The Straits Times
Published on Dec 09, 2012

Rare Beijing protest takes aim at high-speed rail project causing noise and radiation


BEIJING (REUTERS) - Authorities in Beijing allowed a rare protest to take place on Sunday against a new high speed rail line, with about 300 demonstrators shouting slogans disrupting traffic in a busy eastern suburb.

Residents said 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." Reuters was unable to reach government officials to seek comment.