Friday, 24 October 2008

Student Brawl in Shanghai: Part Two

A brawl between Chinese and Japanese students on Monday night has led to the forced closing of a Japanese restaurant on the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) campus.

The owner of the restaurant, who wished not to be named, said: "We have been told to close and change our name by the university's administrative office for safety reasons."

The decision, according to the owner, came after the Japanese students who were allegedly involved in Monday night's fight ate dinner there, leading the school to fear retaliation from Chinese students.

SISU released a statement yesterday confirming that Japanese and Chinese students were involved but that no one was hurt in what they called an "accidental student dispute".

The statement comes after three alleged eye witness reports, circulated on the internet since early on Tuesday morning, claimed that two Chinese students were seriously injured and hospitalised as a result of the fighting.

According to one post, around 10 Japanese students attacked Chinese students after drinking at the nearby restaurant. After leaving they sat and sang outside dormitory buildings at Xianda, a private university affiliated with SISU, angering a number of Chinese students.

"Ten Japanese students flooded into the dormitory and beat two male students so badly they had to be hospitalised," said one blog posting.

SISU's report calls for all departments to "direct leaders, teachers and students to deal with the few untrue reports on the internet correctly."

Despite conflicting statements, eye witnesses have confirmed that the dispute ended up outside the SISU Guesthouse, where most foreign students studying at the university stay.

One eyewitness said: "There were more than 100 students gathered outside, and lots more watching from windows. It was hard to tell what was happening though with so many people there."

Official sources will not release any information about who was involved in the fight.

Shanghai Daily
SISU Notification of the Japanese Chinese Student Dispute (Chinese)
One of the "eye witness" blog posts

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