As much as I would like for you to think that this website is the only place you can find information about Xinjiang, it’s not. As a matter of fact, over the years there have been multiple websites created about the region by foreigners who have lived here, a phenomenon that I believe is unequaled among all of China’s other provinces.
Search engines haven’t done a good job of finding all of these blogs so I have taken it upon myself to introduce them to you. If you don’t want to keep up with this long list of blogs you should subscribe to FarWestChina or follow me on Twitter where I’ll keep you up-to-date on the best and most interesting Xinjiang articles posted on the web.
From the Site: “Our hope is that over time, The New Dominion will serve as a resource for Xinjiang scholars and enthusiasts that can provide both a snapshot of the latest happenings in the region and a database that can better illustrate historical, economic, and cultural trends and patterns over extended periods of time.”
Frequency: Currently they are on hiatus because they are too busy to post, but according to the author they will relaunch soon.
My Thoughts: This blog is very current-event focused and often political. Porfiriy, one of the authors, is very knowledgeable and willing to engage in great dialogue.
From the Site: “I am not an expert on Xinjiang, nor on China, though I hope my blog can address some of the misrepresentations and realities of this supposedly restive region.”
Frequency: The blog isn’t dead from what the author has told me, but the last post was in November of last year.
My Thoughts: Although I enjoyed the postings on this blog I think the pictures are the greatest contribution. Check out their Flickr page.
From the Site: “The intention of keeping this blog is to offer resources, insights, and a place for discussion on the modern history of Xinjiang, with a particular emphasis on the early period of the PRC.”
Frequency: Approx. 2-3 posts per week
My Thoughts: This is one of the best new blogs on Xinjiang, but be warned: it’s not light reading. The articles are well-researched and academic in nature. Also, I have respect for bloggers who put their name and reputation on their work (a rarity in Xinjiang blogging…for good reasons). Good work, Chuck.
Frequency: This blog is now defunct although the archives are still available.
My Thoughts: In its heyday this blog was much more popular than mine is now. Still, Michael Manning (the author) focused on very sensitive political topics which I try to shy away from. Searching through his archives can be quite the adventure, I guarantee.
From the Site: “This is a personal weblog on music, images, travel, and translation of the Uyghur people in Central Asia.”
Frequency: 1-2 posts per week
My Thoughts: This is a pretty obscure site that isn’t always very relevant but I’m including it here because of the absence of a political slant despite its Uyghur focus.
From the Site: “This site is the result of years of academic research, which has culminated in frustration, hope, and the desire to do more…The goal is not to be political or progressive. The only side that we will take is the side of human rights and democracy.”
Frequency: Average of 1 post per week
My Thoughts: The goal for this blog may be “apolitical” but I doubt many officials in Beijing or Urumqi would be excited about the content in this blog. Articles tend to focus on current events that relate to or affect Uyghur in Xinjiang.
From the Site: “The site is the largest portal on Xinjiang in English language and aims to present everyone a true picture of this autonomous region in Northwest China.”
Frequency: News is constantly updated although no RSS feed is available.
My Thoughts: This site is maintained by the Global Times and presents a government-approved version of life in Xinjiang. Needless to say, everything is happy and there’s very little compelling information here.
Update: This site in no longer active.
Frequency: Never updated
My Thoughts: This is the only website on this list that is a static site (meaning it is never updated). Considering how very little that has been written about the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert, though, I think this is a valuable resource for any person who thinks of traveling there. Includes information on Hotan, Yutian, Ruoqiang, Qiemo, and Minfeng.
**Note: If you think I am missing a site on this list PLEASE leave a comment below with the URL and name of the site/blog. Thanks!