On October 24, 2009, Xinjiang-based journalist and blogger Wang Dahao wrote the following on his sina blog, translated by CDT:
Early on the morning of July 6th, Internet access in Xinjiang was cut off, at a time when people were fearful and panicking. Xinjiang appeared to be abandoned by the world.
A lot of people fancied that perhaps in several days or months, Xinjiang would return to the Internet world.
Xinjiang has become the only place where the Internet exists but no access to it has been allowed in such a long time.
At the beginning, people in Xinjiang were mostly interested in the casualties from the July 5th riots; afterward, they became interested in when Internet access will be restored.
When will the Internet be restored?
Owners of net cafes are asking, owners of online shops are asking, and even pupils are asking. To kids, their loss of Mole World (an online virtual community for children) is as important as foreign-trade enterprises being unable to do business with foreign merchants.
Many ask me, “When will the Internet be resumed?”
My answer is: Never.
How come? Many of them firmly don’t believe it.
My reasoning is this: September passed, and the New Year will come, then Spring Festival, followed by May 1 [International Labor Day], October 1 [National Day]; the cycle will continue for eternity, so the same excuses can be used for eternity.
Xinjiang has already gained independence on the Internet, separated from the Internet world.
The cause of July 5th has been made clear: Three people used the Internet to involve 30,000 people. This serious and dreadful result demonstrates again that the Internet is a tool that can lead to extensive damage at the lowest cost. How come the government passes this tool to terrorists?
The government has gotten a taste of cutting off the Internet; how could it possibly return to the age of simply monitoring the Internet?
Being conservative is always the nature of the government. Whatever is the most conservative approach, is certainly the government’s top choice.
Cutting off the Internet and isolating Xinjiang from the world, is of course the most conservative way.
Some would ask: How do you get onto the Internet?
I spent several thousand RMB to leave Xinjiang for Shenzhen to use the Internet in the net café. People in inland China, do you know how envious netizens in Xinjiang are?
Netizens in Xinjiang never realized so deeply: Getting onto the Internet is so joyful.
After July 5th, there are no netizens in Xinjiang.
(Note: Only after I came to Shenzhen did I know that there’s little on the Internet to read. What I wanted to read has been deleted already and I’m very disappointed. During the July 5th riots, I wrote an approximately 100,000 word story and I’ve posted one copy on my blog on Phoenix. You can read it if interested. If it’s late, it has already been deleted.)