From China Digital Space
Huáng Zhāngjìn | 黄章晋
Huang Zhangjin (b. 1970) is a Chinese journalist and blogger. He has written for multiple well-known Chinese outlets and is the founder of Elephant Magazine, a popular new media platform that publishes articles about history and culture.
Huang has written many articles about ethnic relations in Xinjiang, his hometown. He has drawn attention to discirmination suffered by Uyghur people in China. He is a close friend with Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uyghur scholar and economist who is currently serving a life sentence on separatism charges. When Ilham was detained by the authorities after the Urumqi riots in July 2009, Huang wrote a long essay on Ilham, introducing his views on ethnic relations to the Han audience. CDT translated Huang’s essay:
Ilham insisted that Uyghur’s pursuit of equality and freedom must not be separated from Han people’s advancement of freedom and democracy. The two must be closely integrated. The situation of the Uyghurs was a result of the lack of democracy and freedom in China as a whole. Uyghurs can gain freedom and democracy only if Han people can also achieve them.
[...] For many of Ilham’s interests and opinions, all I could do was listen, as I knew nothing about them. He once said hypothetically that, if separatism were still to gain more ground among Uyghurs when China became a liberal democracy, they might borrow from the Republic of Tatarstan, which through the constitution and a series of systemic arrangements stayed within Russia; there were no separatist parties to gain regional control. He also carefully studied the experience of Chinese people in Malaysia, as well as the handling of ethnic relations in Singapore and Europe.
I highly doubt that there existed a Han scholar or a Han official who had ever thought of these issues like Ilham did. [English]