Tibetan Unrest (The Dragon Splits)
Tibetan Uprising
Timeline: The Dragon Splits

Tibetan Unrest (The Dragon Splits)
Location of Tibet, China; Kashmir

Date November 2015 - present
Location Tibet, China
Result Guerrilla Fighting in Tibet

TibetanwarflagssyTibetan Rebels

Flag of the United States United States (alleged)

Flag of India India (Alleged)

Flag of Japan Japan (Alleged)

Flag of the Republic of China Taiwan (Alleged)

Flag of Tibet Central Tibetan Administartion (in Exile) Funding

Flag of the People's Republic of ChinaPRC China

People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of ChinaPeople's Liberation Army

Chinese People's Armed Police Force (CAPF) cap insignia.svg People's Armed Police

•Public Security Bureau

•Ministry of State Security </br> Support:
Flag of Pakistan Pakistan



Flag of the People&#039;s Republic of ChinaChen Quanguo

Flag of the People&#039;s Republic of ChinaXi Jinping

The 2015-16 Tibetan Unrest is a conflict within the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. It originated as a peaceful protest, but has now escalated to guerrilla fighting in many areas.


Tibet is a distinct region of China, which for many centuries had been either an independent state, or in some way part of China. It is well known as a Buddhist nation, and the Dalai Lama resided here. However, in the 1950's, the People's Liberation Army of China invaded and annexed the Tibetan region. While China maintains that they respect the Tibetan culture, many foreign observers have questioned this and China's human rights record in Tibet.


2015 Tibetan Protests

Potala palace

Potala Palace, location of the protest

On 13th November 2015, a large group of Tibetans started a peaceful protest in front of Potala Palace in Lhasa. Waving Tibetan, as well as other recent independent states' flag (including Catalonia, Quebec, Scotland, Padania and Kurdistan), they were chanting pro-independence and pro-Dalai Lama slogans. Around noon time Chinese police started arriving and confronted the protestors. While the protest continued to carry on peacefully, by mid-afternoon the police started to attack the protestors, and by the evening had arrested many, with four left dead, much to international horror.

Guerrilla Fighting

It seemed that the threat was subdued until the 18th, when groups of armed Tibetans attacked a PLA convoy, killing the driver and taking the soldiers prisoner. Enraged, the PLA started an offensive into the area. On July 18, 2016, a group of Tibetan rebels destroyed several units of machinery in Chinese Quarry allegedly done by a stolen PLA Armored Personnel Carrier. Reports indicated one person was killed in the attack.


1024px-Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Police notice outside a Café in Lhasa

On the 28th of August, Secretary of the AR, Chen Quanguo, was transferred to the XUAR, replaced by Wu Yingjie. Rioting began in Lhasa at the appointment of yet another Han, not ethnic Tibetan, leader. This immediately caused unrest, and rioting shortly began, partially inspired by Hong Kong's rebellion.

On the 5th September, rebels with captured arms and an APC drove into Lhasa to support the rioters. The rebels, then using a tactic also used by the Catalan Rebels in the Spanish Collapse Crisis, drove the APC toward PLA forces, pretending themselves to be PLA, then attacked and disabled another APC, taking it themselves.

On the 7th of September, the rebels were able to secure the Potola palace. Rebels later seized an armory using two hijacked APCs. Less than a week later, the People's Armed Police began to lose control over Tibet, with reports of some officers defecting out of fear. As a result, PLA soldiers are pulled out from Kashmir to quell the Tibetan insurgency. By the 17th of September, rioting has spread to almost all parts of Tibet. With Chinese troops having withdrawn from Kashmir, Indian forces move in to reclaim Aksai Chin, which was seized by China in 1962. There was an alleged meeting of Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (Prime Minister) of the Central Tibetan Administration, with Indian government officials, said to have taken place on September 25.

Independence Declared

On the 6th of October, an independent Tibetan state is declared. Reports of Indian soldiers within the border have been sighted but no clashes with the PLA has occurred. The Tibetan Autonomous region was abolished on the 25th of November, the same day with Xinjiang. The following day, Indian IAI Heron UAVs fly over Tibet to monitor the situation on the ground. Based on the aerial recon conducted by the drones, the situation in Tibet was getting worse and worse. A month later, there was serious discussion in India's parliament to build refugees camps in the Indian-administered area of Kashmir.

In early 2017, Tibetan rebels manage to hijack more armored vehicles that increased their vehicle inventory. On the 5th of March, the first reports of Tibetans using man portable air defense system (MANPADS) surfaced after a PLA Z-9 helicopter was shot down, killing 15 PLA soldiers. A major skirmish followed with the Tibetan rebels utilizing their seized vehicles.