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Ethnic conflict in China
July 18, 2009 5:14 AM   Subscribe

"On the evening of July 5th, several hundred Uighur youths went on a bloody rampage [in Urumqi, Xinjiang] following a peaceful demonstration over a separate incident of ethnic violence at a Guangdong toy factory. . . . In the days that followed, bands of roving Han vigilantes armed with kitchen knives, hammers, metal pipes and other improvised weapons sought to mete out revenge in the Uighur suburbs of the city. . . . Caught in-between these increasingly polarized and agitated ethnic communities is the Chinese state, which, rather than orchestrating the brutal oppression of the non-Han minorities, finds itself increasingly powerless to stop the spiralling circle of ethnic hatred which its policies helped to foster in the first place."

Here is a news report on the Guangdong toy factory violence that preceded the Xinjiang rioting.

Here is a translation of the Gongmeng (Open Constitution Initiative) study of China's Tibet policy referred to in the linked China Beat article, with an introduction by the Campaign for Tibet. The report is carefully critical of the government's approach to Tibet: "Ordinary Tibetans have a far keener and evident sense of deprivation than any sense of government help, and like many people living in provinces in the interior, are deeply discontented with the local power-brokers."
posted by Kirth Gerson (45 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uighing out, leads to Chinese crackdown. Thanks a lot, jerks.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:50 AM on July 18, 2009


There's an image in the article of a man holding that which I assume is an improvised weapon (metal rod with nails in it? did he make it himself? pick it up from somewhere? where does one find such a thing?) which would have been all sorts of curious and awesome, if it weren't going to be used to violently hurt people. :-(
posted by yeoz at 6:31 AM on July 18, 2009


There's merit in the conclusions drawn by the piece in your main link (that you summarise in the post) and his observations on the complexities but it's marred by the initial claim that this sort of inter-communal violence is "unprecedented" since the Qing, and where he develops an argument based on a mistranslation he seems to have got from your Save Tibet link (or the same source as them).
The recent violence was certainly of a scale and seriousness not seen for some time but hardly unprecedented. I can think of numerous reported incidences of inter-ethnic violence in 20th century China, including (off the top of my head) Han-Uighur violence (for example, this incident on a college campus in Shaanxi), Tibetan-Hui conflicts in Lhasa and bloody incidents under cover of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Perhaps you would also want to include movements like the Mongolian separatism seen during the civil war, where an attempt was made to prevent Han settlement in southern Mongolia, the Ma clique or the Tibetan uprising of 59 as evidence of earlier ethnic hostilities.
The mistranslation is of "hanzu benwei zhuyi" which will be 汉族本位主义 and means something like "the ideology of the normative primacy of that which is ethnically Han" - which would make more sense of that passage in the Gongmeng statement and has nothing to do with compartmentalization AFAIK - 本位 has been tagged on to various concepts to create buzzwords (e.g. 官本位) and originally comes from the Chinese for the gold standard (金本位). The point is that Han cultural mores are deemed normative and identified with progress, modernity and development etc. while non-Han culture is merely local colour at best and backward, superstitious and dangerous and to be reformed at worst. Naturally, this doesn't endear state policy to those ethnic groups so patronised and marginalised.
Which leaves the question as to whether ethnic relations are worsening and if so, why, but I'll save that for another comment maybe, as I'm supposed to be heading out for our Ten meet-up.
posted by Abiezer at 6:39 AM on July 18, 2009 [10 favorites]


In the press here, well the ABC which is a bit lefty, there is some sympathy for the Uighers as the underdogs. The interviews I have heard with the Uigher folk here have been pretty over the top. I have no doubt that Chinese authorities are pretty brutal in putting down dissent, and I similarly don't doubt the local Han might be being nasty, but the overall impression I got was like the troubles in Northern Ireland or the Arab/Israeli conflict - nobody was looking for solutions, just trying to point score against their opponents.
And I don't need another N.I or Israel/Palestine conflict in my life, I'd just like these guys to all compromise and move on.
posted by bystander at 7:21 AM on July 18, 2009


the overall impression I got was like the troubles in Northern Ireland or the Arab/Israeli conflict - nobody was looking for solutions, just trying to point score against their opponents.

A-fuckin'-men. And with the media in China plugging its ears and going LALALA, even the idea of solutions seems like a foreign concept here on the ground. This idea of what to do about the Uyghurs comes up in conversation, and Han responses trend to, "lock 'em all up". Uyghurs I know in Beijing generally end up saying things along the lines of "fuck 'em all, I'm gonna get mine". They don't seem to have any sense of community at all, not with the PRC or their own ethnic group, and they have nothing but disregard and contempt for the authorities. When I lived in Xinjiang (for 3 months, and in one of the Han enclaves, barely enough time to garner a real understanding of anything), they kept to themselves and...well, to put it briefly, there really was a sense of barely tolerating each other in the air. My Han friends were all too happy to remind me that they all carried knives, and the Uyghurs I met were just entirely disinterested in food, clothing, music, anything Han. They also, thank god, weren't as psycho about English as the Hans seemed to be, and were vastly less impressed with me and my rudimentary Chinese than the Hans, but that's beside the point.

Nobody seemed to have a solution, or even care that things were as bad as they were. The government, the locals, the immigrants. "Fuck you's" all around. Really, really depressing. The Uyghurs seem like a very cool group of people, so if you visit, be sure to get out of conflict zones. Otherwise it'll all be obscured by the stench of hatred in the air.
posted by saysthis at 7:53 AM on July 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'd been seeing reports of the violence, mostly on CNN International and BBC, and had hoped something would end up on the blue about it. I know little about the cultural complexity of Chinese society (except knowing that it is impossibly complex), so I'm looking forward to a more in-depth discussion of the underlying history of the conflict.

What this conflict has reinforced in me is my belief that governments consistently, grossly underestimate the power and strength of culture. They go into a population and attempt to strip away or minimize the indigenous culture and impose their own as a means of control, not realizing that culture affects not just how you dress or worship or speak, but also how you understand the world and even how you process things cognitively. It can't just be erased or subordinated.
posted by elfgirl at 7:54 AM on July 18, 2009


The point is that Han cultural mores are deemed normative and identified with progress, modernity and development etc. while non-Han culture is merely local colour at best and backward, superstitious and dangerous and to be reformed at worst.

Abeizer, I'd be glad to hear a follow-up to your informative comment. I'm particularly interested in what cultural mores are seen as "Han" per se, and, accordingly, what practices or folkways are viewed as non-Han. Does it break down along the lines of belief systems (ie Muslim, Confucian)?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:56 AM on July 18, 2009


In Australia, the newsreaders pronounce "Uighurs" something similar to "wiggers."

So the first time I hear someone grimly announce "5 dead wiggers in revenge attacks in China" I'm all WTF???
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:57 AM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would like to learn more about the internal politics and political history of modern China. I find these reports fascinating. Thanks for all the good links.
posted by jefeweiss at 9:02 AM on July 18, 2009


Apparently Iranians have been shouting "Death to China" at their rallies and protests lately. It probably doesn't help Ahmadinejad's case that China was one of the few countries to recognize their elections.

Caught in-between these increasingly polarized and agitated ethnic communities is the Chinese state, which, rather than orchestrating the brutal oppression of the non-Han minorities, finds itself increasingly powerless

So they say.
posted by delmoi at 9:08 AM on July 18, 2009


So the first time I hear someone grimly announce "5 dead wiggers in revenge attacks in China" I'm all WTF???

Yeah, I'm surprised to hear anyone sound less than ecstatic when reporting dead wiggers.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:14 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


After thinking about this for a bit, I do wonder how much the history of the one child policy has contributed to social unrest. As far as I remember the trend in China was that males outnumbered females by a not insignificant margin. This has always seemed to me to be a recipe for social unrest, especially if the younger females tend to gravitate towards older more successful men in the society. A large number of young men with no ladies would be a problem in any society.
posted by jefeweiss at 9:40 AM on July 18, 2009


Jefeweiss, the one child policy doesn't apply to ethnic minorities like the Uighurs so it probably not relevant to this particular incident.
posted by Pantalaimon at 9:43 AM on July 18, 2009


I wish there was a bit more analysis in the US about how we can, as a nation, be distressed about Uighur treatment in China, when national sentiment here ranges from indifferent to equally as hostile. Prior to the Chinese riots, Americans' awareness of Uighurs extended only as far as their detainment in Guantanamo and expulsion to Bermuda, with popular sentiment summed up as "Obama sends terrorists on vacation".

I'm sympathetic towards the Uighurs in both Bermuda and China, but it's a bit hypocritical for the media to go from Uighurs-as-terrorists to Uighurs-as-oppressed-minorities, and I can't picture the former narrative doing much to help Americans care about the latter.
posted by boo_radley at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2009


Does it not apply in provinces where the Uighurs live, or just to the Uighurs? I don't know too much about the way that social interactions occur in cases like this, but if the Han Chinese in the area were covered by the one child policy and there were intermarriage between the two ethnic groups, it could actually cause more friction.
posted by jefeweiss at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2009


...the one child policy doesn't apply to ethnic minorities like the Uighurs so it probably not relevant to this particular incident.

Except where it may irritate the Han involved, who are mostly subject to the policy.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:54 AM on July 18, 2009


After thinking about this for a bit, I do wonder how much the history of the one child policy has contributed to social unrest. As far as I remember the trend in China was that males outnumbered females by a not insignificant margin.

According to the CIA World Factbook it's something like 1.13 : 1 for people aged 0-15.
posted by delmoi at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as I remember, the one child policy cover on the Han ethnicity. It's not based on geography or provinces.
posted by Pantalaimon at 10:04 AM on July 18, 2009


I spent around three weeks backpacking around Xinjiang in summer of '07. As a person of Chinese descent who speaks Mandarin, I guess that makes me a "Han."

I was really shocked to hear about the violence in Urumqi and elsewhere. Xinjiang seemed like such a sleepy, peaceful place. Although my impressions of the place obviously suffer from not spending any extended time in one spot, I never sensed any hostility between Han and Uyghurs. They lived in different areas and didn't seem to have much contact with each other, but whenever I interacted with Uyghurs I never sensed any animosity or resentment. The language barrier between the two groups is fairly high as most Uyghurs don't speak much Chinese and vice versa.

I'm really fascinated with Uyghur and Central Asian cultures in general, so I made it a point to learn some Uyghur while I was there. Uyghurs were generally really pleased when I attempted to speak a few words in their language; curiously enough, on more than one occasion they asked me if I was Hui (Chinese Muslim) which makes me wonder if they have better relations on account of their shared religion.

I don't doubt that Uyghurs suffer the societal discrimination they they claim, but to be fair, the Chinese government has some affirmative action programs in place to benefit them (and other ethnic minorities). They aren't bound by the one-child policy and are given preference over Han students for admission to university. I'm not sure of any official policy of bilingualism, but in every minority region I've been to in China, most signs and public announcements are in both the local language and Mandarin. The Uyghur book section in Xinhua bookstores in Xinjiang is fairly large too - (perhaps not so) interestingly enough, the Turkish Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk seems pretty popular over there, along with other Turkish products like Ulker chocolate bars.

Perhaps the bowls of laghman and fresh watermelon slices lulled me into a state of willful ignorance, but again, I'm utterly shocked at the outbreak of violence in the region. I still trade e-mails every now and then with locals I met over there. Despite everything, I hope to go back someday.
posted by pravit at 10:05 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's some photos of the Uighur community. The second photo is especially interesting--why are they tearing down the old towns?
posted by eye of newt at 10:05 AM on July 18, 2009


eye of newt, they are tearing down Kashgar's Old City because of supposed earthquake fears. I think it's tragic.
posted by parudox at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


why are they tearing down the old towns?

They're basically tearing them down and replacing them with modern, although drab socialist-style developments. Also see the disappearing hutong neighborhoods in Beijing.

In Kashgar and other predominantly Uyghur cities like Yarkand or Hotan, there's an "old town" with traditional mud brick buildings and twisty alleyways (here's some pics from my blog) and a "new town" which pretty much looks like any city constructed in a Communist country from 1950 onwards - wide tree-lined grid streets and ugly concrete block buildings. As you might imagine, most of the Han live in the "new town."

Many of the buildings in the old town lack basic plumbing or electricity, and owing to their construction they might not stand up well in an earthquake (consider the Bam earthquake in 2003). Xinjiang is a fairly seismically active region, and this decision should probably be viewed in light of the damage due to improper construction in the Sichuan earthquake.

I'd really like to hear more what local residents have to say about this. It's unfortunate that they don't seem to have been consulted much about the decision.
posted by pravit at 10:54 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't doubt that Uyghurs suffer the societal discrimination they they claim, but to be fair, the Chinese government has some affirmative action programs in place to benefit them (and other ethnic minorities). They aren't bound by the one-child policy and are given preference over Han students for admission to university.

One of the problems is that recently the Chinese government has been rolling back some of those things. For one thing, they are cutting back on local language education, and for another they are tearing down old homes, etc. I think the idea of tearing down a house that's been lived in by the same family for 500 years or whatever is kind of tragic.
posted by delmoi at 11:41 AM on July 18, 2009


The Big Picture: Ethnic clashes in Urumqi, China
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on July 18, 2009


Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Uighurs aren't extremists--but the Chinese government may change that.
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on July 18, 2009


The Uighur people of Xinjiang an audio visual presentation byCarolyn Drake, a photographer, about life on the edge of the desert and an uneasy relationship with the Han Chinese.
posted by adamvasco at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2009


NHK's Silk Road series from the 1980s was pretty educational, both historically and geographically. The interrelation of geography and history are strong in that part of Central Asia. Netflix link.
posted by @troy at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2009


Apparently Iranians have been shouting "Death to China" at their rallies and protests lately. It probably doesn't help Ahmadinejad's case that China was one of the few countries to recognize their elections.

Two Can Play This Blame Game
posted by homunculus at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2009


yeoz: "There's an image in the article of a man holding that which I assume is an improvised weapon (metal rod with nails in it? did he make it himself? pick it up from somewhere? where does one find such a thing?) which would have been all sorts of curious and awesome, if it weren't going to be used to violently hurt people. :-("

I know I've seen something like that before. A gardening instrument? Or maybe something from an old printer.
posted by pwnguin at 3:27 PM on July 18, 2009



Yeah, I'm surprised to hear anyone sound less than ecstatic when reporting dead wiggers.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:14 PM on July 18 [+] [!]


Wigger is a very racist word if you think about it, I hate it generally, but it seems particularly tone deaf to haul it out in a thread about a divisive racial/ethnic conflict.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:13 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't doubt that Uyghurs suffer the societal discrimination they they claim, but to be fair, the Chinese government has some affirmative action programs in place to benefit them (and other ethnic minorities). They aren't bound by the one-child policy and are given preference over Han students for admission to university.

Wouldn't the fact that the Uyghurs are exempt from the laws that bind the Hans piss the Hans off doubly -- on top of their already crude bigotry? Isn't it the same in the US? Affirmative action is not oil on troubled waters, it's kerosine on fire.
posted by Faze at 4:34 PM on July 18, 2009


Wouldn't the fact that the Uyghurs are exempt from the laws that bind the Hans piss the Hans off doubly

Yep, I've heard there's a lot of resentment among the Han for this. I wouldn't describe the general attitude among Han towards Uyghurs as "crude bigotry", at least among the Han I met in Xinjiang, but that's just me.
posted by pravit at 6:22 PM on July 18, 2009


I'm particularly interested in what cultural mores are seen as "Han" per se, and, accordingly, what practices or folkways are viewed as non-Han. Does it break down along the lines of belief systems (ie Muslim, Confucian)?
The "hanzu benwei" primacy is more something along the lines of Han people not being essentialised by their ethnicity - they might be farmers, technocrats, entrepreneurs, sports stars or any of the myriad things people are in a modern society, whereas non-Han people who also actually might be any of those things are presented first and foremost as representatives of a formulaic version of their ethnic background. For example, when you see footage of the National People's Congress (the parliament-a-like body) assembling for one of its national sessions, any minority cadre will be in elaborate national dress but all the Han people will be in suits, not the equivalent which might be scholar's gowns for the mean or whatever. It's something to do with who has agency I think - Han people are making history as China rises, non-Han people are having it happen to them or for them in what is at best a paternalistic fashion.
Of course the ethnic categories represented are as crude for Han people as they are for everyone else, and the massive diversity of regional and linguistic differences among Han populations gets subsumed too. Han traditional cultural practices have taken more than a bit of a beating over the same period too, of course. These things also breed a bit of resentment as you might expect but it doesn't take on the heightened tension that inter-ethnic dynamics so easily can. (This is to set aside the recent turn back to Confucianism in some official discourse, which is mostly a separate question I think but also occurring within this hanzu benwei framework).
Kirth is right that many Han people are resentful of or at least consider unfair affirmative action policies - one of my neighbours' daughters just missed making the grade for her college of choice by a single grade point after her high-school graduation exam and her mother said to us that if she'd been from a non-Han ethnicity the extra twenty points credit she got would have let her pass easily. It wasn't said with any particular rancour but I think it shows people notice these things. You also get a fair amount of incredulity at the supposed ungratefulness of Tibetans or Uighurs because as we are constantly reminded, they've seen massive infrastructure investment and so on in the regions they live, so why are they claiming to be hard done by? Since there's little to no debate at all about what that investment entailed or how it happened, it's not surprising that few people in China proper understand minority groups' complaints.
Even where there have been ostensibly laudable programmes by the central government to preserve and promote non-Han language and traditional culture, it is tainted by being carried out in a top-down way and with the over-arching demand that it serve some larger national "project" of integration of the big happy family of new China (it's actually expressed something like that - the 中华民族大家庭). One example that springs to mind is the work done to preserve the great Tibetan oral epic of King Gesar. There's been plenty of funding available for some sterling scholarship and preservation work on what is a jewel of traditional Tibetan culture, but it has been said that of all Tibet's cultural heritage this was identified as being one of the few more broadly secular artefacts. If Tibetans themselves were in charge of how to handle their own heritage, they may have allocated budgets differently and included, say, the Milarepa which is far more explicitly religious.
posted by Abiezer at 7:28 PM on July 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Categorization of ethnicities in China has always been from the perspective of the Han as a component of the national project. The entire myth about "56 ethnicities" is nothing more than a mask over a much greater level of ethnic diversity than this simple number reveals. That's why groups of people who don't identify with one another were lumped together as Miao, or Dai, or Qiang, or yes, as Abiezer points out, even Han.

The Qiang, Tibetan, and Uigher people I met made a point of talking about how they all must learn Mandarin, but Han colonists who come to their own homelands never even think to learn the language of the local ethnic group. They couldn't care less - the local ethnicity is always dirty, or backward, or superstitious, and simply not worthy of notice. Things are just not important if they're not Han. I noticed the same thing when talking to my Han roommates. Genocide is a really massive problem if the Japanese did it, but if Han people invade someone else's homeland and destroy someone else's culture, who cares? The incredibly nervy thing is that some people have the nerve to be angry at affirmative action, when their government robbed these people of their land, their livelihoods, and in many cases their lives.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:40 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I visited Urumqi and traveled all over Xinjiang very recently with a predominantly Han Chinese tour group. The Han inundation of Xinjiang, China's westernmost province is unmistakable. From the get go, I sensed that Uighurs, in their own province are second class citizens. As I came out of Urumqi airport a Uighur taxi driver approached me and I was walking with him toward a taxi, when a Han Chinese taxi driver muscled in and dragged me the other way. I resisted and turned around to show solidarity with the Uighur but he had slunk away. That was a theme that was visible and tangible through out my travels: the Uighur has learned to accept and submit to Han domination. They are an oppressed people. And such oppression will lead to boil-overs and sudden outbreaks of frustration, which will then likely subside until another conflagration occurs. However, the writing is on the wall: the Hanzou will dominate; they are more numerous; they have the support of the state; Mandarin is the language of upward mobility, success and power; the decline of the Uighur as a proud, independent people at least within the borders of the PRC is inevitable. Xinjiang is China's wild west, and the many different ethnicities are treated like a living, but increasingly extinct, museum of the Native American tribes. The view of the minorities is very paternalistic. They are appreciated so long as they are singing and dancing. Minority culture is exoticized or fetishized but not respected.

In many places, there was palpable tension simmering between the Hans and the minorities. All the good jobs were given to Hans, even though Uighurs often speak better English. For instance, the doormen at hotels were always Uighurs, whereas, the people who were at reception were Hanzou. As part of a Chinese tour group, we were taken to mostly to Chinese restaurants, Chinese-owned shops; when we insisted that we be taken to eat Uighur or Uzbek food, our tour guides and the other Chinese tour members were displeased. How could Han culture and civilization in every sense not be preferable to the colorful, pretty, but quaint culture of the minorities?

That is not to say that there is nothing positive that the Hanzou have brought to Xinjiang. They have brought development and modernity at lightning speed, such speed that they are destroying much of the minority heritage in their wake. However, I hope that this latest conflagration gives Beijing pause and encourages it to develop a more humane, inclusive and less imperial and predatory policy towards Xinjiang.
posted by Azaadistani at 1:36 AM on July 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: the ideology of the normative primacy of that which is ethnically Han
posted by nfg at 2:46 AM on July 19, 2009


Abeizer, 1adam12, Azaadistani - thanks. Those are the kind of informative comments I was hoping would be prompted by my basically ignorant post.

As regards the Beijing hutong, my wife spent a big part of her childhood in them. She's not in the least nostalgic for them, nor is her mother. They enthusiastically embraced the 'soulless concrete boxes' that replaced the hutong as a major improvement in their standard of living. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that the last hutong residents wished they weren't, unless the buildings had been upgraded with modern plumbing and electric and gas supplies. Coal stoves and outhouses become a lot less tolerable when your neighbors have better systems.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:11 AM on July 19, 2009


However, the people of Kashgar do not want their old city destroyed. And the new developments they will be moved to will not be as centrally located, they fear.
posted by Azaadistani at 5:27 AM on July 19, 2009


Chinese tour groups aren't exactly the best way to get a feel for local culture, I think. To my knowledge, it's quite common for Chinese tours to other countries to only dine at Chinese restaurants (as well as the associated obligatory stops at random places to buy junk).

One reason for the workers at hotel reception being predominantly Han is because Xinjiang tourism is still primarily domestic (although anecdotally, either the receptionists at the Qini Bagh in Kashgar are non-Han, or there are some really blue-eyed Han Chinese running around). As for the taxi drivers fighting over you, I've observed this happening between drivers of the same ethnicity all the time.

This isn't to say that ethnic discrimination wasn't the cause of those examples that you mentioned or that it isn't an issue, of course. In China, it's normal to state your ethnicity on your resume, for example, and I've heard accounts of Xinjiang employers favoring Han Chinese, either by using Mandarin competency as an excuse or stating the desired ethnicity in job ads outright. Even in areas where ethnic discrimination isn't an issue, it's quite common to see job advertisements for waitresses requesting a specific age and height, for example.

As for the old town in Kashgar, I'm torn. Obviously it's unfair for the Uyghurs to live in backward conditions relative to the Han, but it's a bit much to destroy people's homes and relocate them. Ideally, the government would be able to somehow install modern plumbing and electricity into these homes without destroying them outright.
posted by pravit at 4:21 PM on July 19, 2009


To my knowledge, it's quite common for Chinese tours to other countries to only dine at Chinese restaurants (as well as the associated obligatory stops at random places to buy junk).

Anecdotal support: When I drove my wife and her parents to Niagara Falls a couple of years ago, we stopped for lunch at a large Chinese restaurant. The place was mostly empty when we arrived. then two huge tour buses arrived, and the restaurant filled up with Chinese tourists.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:26 AM on July 20, 2009


Some consequences of the one-child rule: “Manufacturing” Abandoned Infants
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:39 AM on July 21, 2009


Chinese hackers have attacked the website of Australia's biggest film festival over a documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on July 26, 2009


Tibetan documentary filmmaker faces trial in eastern Tibet for "inciting separatism."
posted by homunculus at 9:41 AM on July 28, 2009


China restores limited internet access after Urumqi violence: Block on calls from China to overseas numbers and on most text messages remains in place
posted by homunculus at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2009


NY Times recaptions photos from wire services.
For example, the New York Times ran this photo with the caption: “Uighurs injured at a hospital in the city during a media tour by the authorities on Monday.” When Anti-CNN netizens noticed the name tag (as well as the man’s face) clearly indicate that he is of Han ethnicity, they contacted Reuters, where a photo editor explained that the original caption of the photo was “People who were injured during riots in Urumqi, rest in a hospital in the city during an official government tour for the media” and further noted that Reuters cannot control whether clients change their photo captions.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2009


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