In a microcosm of tensions that grip much of China, a large group of Han Chinese students launched an attack on Tibetan students at Chengdu Railroad Engineering School.
According to one blog, which appears to have been written by one of the Han students who took part in the attack, there were 3,000 Han students who participated in the attack.
They surrounded the Tibetan dorms and attacked roughly 200 Tibetan students on the evening of Dec. 14. Their slogan was: "Beat the Tibetans, get extra credit."
The blogger writes:
In fighting that lasted all night, the Tibetan dormitory was destroyed, the doors and windows completely smashed. The Tibetan classrooms were also ruined. A bunch of Tibetan students were beaten badly enough to be sent to the hospital.
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The attack comes amid heightening tensions in Tibet, where 12 monks and nuns have self-immolated this year in protest of China's grip on their homeland. Most of these self-immolations have occurred in Sichuan province, of which Chengdu is the capital.
While the precise trigger to this attack remains unclear, it does show how deeply entrenched the animosity has become. China has long feared a Tibetan separatist movement. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly called for Tibetan autonomy, rather than independence.
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The blogger talks about the attack as if it were part of a larger war, calling the skirmish "seriously bloody" and saying it was an "important victory" for the Han students.
The Han and Tibetan students at the Railroad Engineering School really hate each other. Those several hundred Tibetan students are so full of themselves. Last night was an important victory for the Han students, because the school picked up all of the Tibetan students, and of course there were a bunch of Tibetan students who got seriously beaten up.
The school appears to have tried and failed to maintain order, and has since clamped down on any students leaving the premises. A skirmish broke out in the cafeteria between Hans and Tibetans the following day, Dec. 15.
The blogger predicts more clashes to come:
I predict that tonight will be another sleepless night of battle. The Han students are formidable!!! Beat the Tibetans, wear your school uniform, and get extra credit.