Posted by Joel Martinsen on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 10:38 AM
Telecommunications service has been disrupted following the riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, including both phone and Internet service.
As a result, the websites of local newspapers such as the Xinjiang Daily (新疆日报), Xinjiang Metropolis Daily (新疆都市报), Xinjiang Legal Daily (新疆法制报), and the Morning Post (新疆都市消费晨报) are all unreachable from Beijing, as are news portals iYaxin (亚心网) and Tianshan (新疆新闻总汇).
The papers are apparently still publishing, despite being inaccessible to much of the country. In its three-page spread on the riots, The Beijing News reprinted an article from the Morning Post alongside a selection of Xinhua wire reports and CCTV stills (CCTV's website hosts is own feature on the incident).
The Morning Post article is mostly devoted to making the case that overseas organizations took advantage of anger over the Shaoguan, Guangdong riots on June 26 to incite violence in Urumqi. State media had previously blamed the Shaoguan riots on a rumor spread by a former toy factory worker who said that Uighur men had raped two women working in the factory, but according to an account released by police this week, a woman had been sexually assaulted after mistakenly entering the dormitory of Uighur workers, leading to violence and the death of two Uighur workers. (Xinhua has much the same story.)
More news on the riots
· Peter Ford writes in the Christian Science Monitor about the problems he had reaching people in the region, and his difficulties in getting them to talk about the riots once he had them on the line.
· The Economist reports from Urumqi:
· The AP has reported that protests may have spread to Kashgar.
· At China Elections and Governance, Evelyn Chan discusses the riots in terms of "horizontal violence."
· Shanghaiist runs down some of the theories as to the cause of the riots, from a peaceful protest to a conspiracy engineered to topple the government.
· Josie Liu at China in Transition describes how BBS users are digging up old threads on Xinjiang and updating them with new information on recent events. Because the headlines concern outdated, non-sensitive information, the discussions avoid the censor's eye.
· Melissa K. Chan of Al Jazeera English is updating her Twitter account from the ground in Urumqi.
· The New York Times examines how Chinese authorities are managing information about the situation in Xinjiang.
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