Uighur-Online, a gathering place for many minority voices in Xinjiang that has often pushed the limits of political speech in China, is again available online (连接).
UO was pulled offline in May of this year, to my personal disappointment. For previous discussion of the close down, refer to Global Voices Online:
Uighur Online’s attraction was in that it tolerated occasionally offensive and hateful opinions as valid parts of discussion; its closure, aside from being illegal, now only demonstrates the short-sightedness of those responsible. As with any influential blog or BBS forum in China, Uighur Online’s administrators were already in theory forced to censor any language which might alarm authorities. Now, all talks are off.
I’m happy to say that this forum for discussion is once again available, as of September 4th. It seems obvious now that the site was pulled off as part of the security measures around the Olympics. It also seems clear that as others have long-speculated (like the Uygurs on the forum mentioned in this previous entry), Uighur-Online must have solid political support from the central government.
I sympathize with those who believe the only long-term solution to racial tension in China is greater engagement, as shown in these online debates… and not articifical isolation. We’ll be sure to translate some of the more heated discussions from UO going forward!
PS. Yes, Buxi is back! 🙂 Very gratifying to see everything running well, and our hard-working admin and writers contributing so regularly. And look forward to speaking with all of my friends, apologies for the month-long absence!