Beijing is hopeful that “the beautiful game” of soccer and Lhasa FC, Tibet’s first club, will help to soothe lingering tensions between Tibetans and Han, the ethnic majority in China.
A plateau region north-east of the Himalayas, Tibet was incorporated by China in 1950 and currently an autonomous region within China. The conflict between many Tibetans and Chinese government has been nonstop as many demand religious freedom and more human rights. In March, 2008, a series of protests turned into riots in different regions across Tibet. Rioters attacked Han ethnic inhabitants and burned their businesses, resulting dozens of death.