On March 10, 2008, the Tibetan Uprising Day, a protest against China's occupation of Tibet took place in Lhasa, Tibet’s administrative capital. Worried about the worsening human rights situation inside Tibet, participants intended to use the Olympics’ spotlight to attract international support for the Tibetan cause and to pressure the Chinese government to end its occupation of Tibet, to put a stop to its abuses against Tibetan citizens and supporters, and to ultimately respect Tibet’s sovereignty.
Post-WWI China was fraught with political turbulence and social unrest. The Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and the Republic of China was instated in its place, ending thousands of years of imperial rule in the country and generating a host of new streams of intellectual and political thought. However, warlords still ruled strong throughout many of the provinces, fueling a chaotic and backwards politics that an emerging intelligentsia sought to change.