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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, March 12, 2004

A Slight Change


For those readers that may be just visiting after a while you may notice that the name of the blog has changed from The Uygur Letter to The China Letter. As well I have changed the masthead and some other image type things.

The reason for the change is pretty simple. Originally I started the blog to highlight the situation of the Uygur ethnic minority of China especially as it concerns human rights.

The Uygur have been treated grossly unfairly and at times with barbaric cruelty at the hands of the Han Chinese. Their plight has been going largely unknown unlike the more higher profile Tibetans and with "9/11" the situation has deteriorated significantly. You see being Muslim post "9/11" does not elicit a lot of sympathy.

But as I got more into the production of the blog it occurred to me that the problems of human rights in China did not only apply to the Uygurs and the Tibetans, it applies to other minority groups as well be they religious minorities, rural peoples or ethnic minorities.

It is true that the treatment of the Uygur and to a lesser extent the Tibetans has been far worse than the other groups nevertheless by focusing on the Uygur and the Tibetans I was committing just as much a sin of neglect as the world does when it considers the Tibetan cause as being the only "cause" in China.

By highlighting the general then the specific must also bear light.

My first "love" however is the Uygur. Nine million people now living in a strange land they have considered their homeland for over a thousand years.

Friendless in the world, bundled, as a result of Chinese propaganda, into the "Islamic Terrorist" basket and slowly seeing their unique culture bleed away.

Once they controlled a great steppes empire that stretched from Mongolia through to Gansu China and over to Tibet and India. Now, marginalised, they shelter in the traditional bastion oases towns like Hotan and Kashgar. But even there their hegemony is rapidly declining.

Like in Urumqi where their presence is hidden in side alleys away from the glass and concrete monoliths of the "New Han China". Where their traditional bazaars are converted into tourist attractions. Where in a Brave New Han World they are jostled and moved on by security for trying to ply their ancient ways.

But there are others who suffer in the New China, Christians, Rural dwellers the displaced and the dispossessed. They too need a voice no matter how small.

A voice against economic avarice that drives "Free Nations" to caste aside principals to feed so readily and hungrily at the trough that is the New China.

A voice against prejudice.

A voice against inhumanity.

So that is why the blog has shifted emphasis ever so slightly.

It's aim however is the same, to highlight and to question and hopefully bring to a "New China" a "New Way". A way of respect for the individual and the minority.