Our project involves colleagues working together from both the Uygur and Han communities in Urumqi and across the province of Xinjiang. This unity is a vital thread that binds our small project and we are all saddened that the friendships we cherish appear to be exceptional.
We have been unable to contact our team in Xinjiang and we hope they are safe and continue to remain so. Our thoughts are with them and the people of Xinjiang.
Once again I find myself in the all too familiar surroundings of a Chinese hotel. Just waiting to meet Wong Jun and Shi Kun for our chilli cabbage and chilli mein breakfast - we're in Sichuan, at the behest of the SFA.
I came through Beijing to attend the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology. It was hot and sticky and I did my best to look (and be) cool so I didn't get quarantined as an H1N1 suspect. All visitors to China have to fill out a health questionnaire and have their temperature taken (forehead thankfully) before being allow to disembark at the airport. Despite being urged by the British Airways cabin crew to answer the questionnaire I can't imagine anyone wanting to tick affirmative to any question, knowing that such damning action will lead them to epidemiological Limbo in an anonymous hotel, circling the first circle, hoping and praying for ascent.