a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


First Sino-Tibetan War

Years: 1911-1912
Battle deaths: 2,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2014-08-03 23:31:33
Xinhai Lhasa Turmoil(辛亥拉萨动乱) refers to the racial clash in the Lhasa region of Tibet and various mutinies as a result of the Wuchang Uprising.

The Wuchang Uprising unfolded on October 10, 1911, and marked the beginning of the Xinhai Revolution. Turmoils in the frontier regions of China began to spread.

The revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen insisted on "getting rid of the Tartars" and rejected the Manchus, creating a new regime based completely on the Han dominated China proper. The multiculturalism in China began to experience crisis on collapsing (Sun Yat-sen later discovered the motto to be inappropriate, and modified it). It was one of the mistakes made by Sun Yat-sen.

Turmoil in Tibet

The influence of Wuchang Uprising rapidly spread to the frontier region. Many of the Qing Army in Tibet were members of Ge Lao Hui, and there were internal strifes going on. These Tibetan armies ended up struggling against each other, and Tibet fell into a state of anarchy. In the winter of 1911, the Qing Governor of Sichuan Zhao Erfeng were executed by radical civilians, and the situation turned worse as the region of Xikang fell into turmoil as well. The British colonial government in India along with the 13th Dalai Lama took the opportunity and ignited the contradiction between Han Chinese and Tibetan radicals. As a result, the Han Chinese in Tibet were being constantly killed, and Dalai Lama were able to eliminate the Qing’s influence in Tibet and return as the sole administrator of the region. The Qing army in Tibet were unable to resist the Dalai Lama and the British colonial army, and fled back to inland China via India.


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Extra-State War Data v4.0

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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