China’s Two Major Manchu Internet Forums Closed
China’s two major Manchu internet forums have been shut down. The server supplier for one forum said it is due to technical problems. As to whether it was shut down for political reasons, the person in charge of the website refused to speculate. He urged the international community to pay attention to the rights and interests of the Manchu people so as to help them establish an autonomous region.
Mr. Lian Bo, the person in charge of “Northeast Manchu Online,” told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that he received notification from the service provider four days ago. It said that the website had data saved in the sever that exceeded the capacity of the database, and said that the website should be temporarily shut down.
Lian said he website has been shut down several times in the past. The longest time was for more than a month.
He declined to comment on whether the shutdown was for in political reasons. But he said that the website had more than 8,000 registered users.
They could express their thoughts freely on the forum and so it would be inevitable for them to talk about political issues.
Lian said, “Because it is a forum, there are all kinds of topics. Though I’ve deleted sensitive topics, there were topics that talked about the party’s policies, such as the establishment of autonomous regions or states.”
Another Manchu forum, “Auspicious Manchu,” was also shut down last week.
The RFA reporter could not contact the person in charge. But Lian said “The Auspicious Manchu was attacked by hackers in the past few days. It has been shut down for more than a week and ours has been shut down for four days. It’s such a coincidence.”
Lian said that there are over ten million Manchu people in China, more than the Tibetan and Hui people. However, the Manchu people don’t have an autonomous region. The so-called Manchu schools don’t teach Manchu at all and the Manchu culture is almost lost.
Now, only the older generations speak Manchu. The Manchu population ranks second in China, after the Han, but they do not have an autonomous state, or even an autonomous region.
Manchu schools are only in name. What the schools teach are the same as other schools and there is not a bit education about the Manchu culture. Some Manchu people have completely forgotten their heritage.
The “Northeast Manchu Online” website was established in 2004. It mainly discussed topics that the Manchu people were concerned about and it was also for helping them know more about their own culture. The “Auspicious Manchu” website was set up in 2003, with members over 10,000. It mainly discussed topics regarding Manchu history and culture.
According to the Chinese government’s census in 2000, there were more than 10 million Manchu people living in China. They mostly live in the three northeastern provinces, and Manchu people consist of over 40 percent of the population in Liaoning Province.
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