Tibetan students in western China marched in protest of unconfirmed plans to use the Chinese language exclusively in classes, teachers said Wednesday, an unusually bold challenge to authorities that reflects a deep unease over cultural marginalization.
Students marched from school to school in the town of Tongren in Qinghai province on Tuesday chanting slogans against unconfirmed plans to supplant the use of Tibetan, the teachers said.
The march ended by midday and classes resumed in the afternoon, said a teacher at the Huangnan Prefecture No. 1 Minorities High School in Tongren.
The teacher, who refused to give his name out of fear of retaliation by authorities, said about 300 students from the school had participated in the march. The London-based group Free Tibet and U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia said students from six different schools joined in the march with estimates of the total number of participants ranging from 1,000 to 7,000.