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China Protest Forcing Nuclear Retreat Shows People Power

Protests in a southern Chinese city last week that forced local authorities to abandon plans for a uranium-processing facility highlight the growing willingness of ordinary people to challenge the state on environmental issues.

The proposed Longwan Industrial Park project won’t be approved “in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses,” the government of Heshan, Guangdong province, said in a statement on its website on July 13. A “social-stability risk assessment” of the proposal that was released for public awareness generated “much opposition,” it said.