India-China dispute: Blogger arrested for degrading ‘heroes’ soldier



The Chinese police arrested a blogger for commenting on Chinese soldiers who died last year in a confrontation with Indian troops at the Himalaya border.

The 38-year-old man “maliciously distorted the truth” about the conflict, said the authorities.

He is one of at least seven persons detained by China for allegedly inadequate remarks on the incident.

The event, which took place last June, was the first deadly clash in 45 years in the disputed border region.

A 2018 Chinese law prohibits “slandering heroes and martyrs”
However, only by amending China’s criminal law, which enters into force next month, may a person be charged for this offense criminally, in accordance with a China Daily column.

This would allow those accused to be jailed for up to three years under this law.

“If [Qiu] committed the offense ten days later, he would be the first person to be punished by the Law.
According to a statement issued by the Public Security Bureau in Nanjing, on 19 February, the man – known only by his surname of Qiu – was arrested.

According to local reports, the 38-year-old blogger had 2,5 million followers on Weibo. The BBC could not verify this since it had deleted its account.

Weibo announced last week that the account of Mr Qiu was banned for one year.

The man has confessed “illegal behaviour to gain the attention of netizens, distorting facts on Weibo and slandering and demeaning the heroes defending the border”
Since then, he has been arrested for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – a common charge against critics. A handful of other people who were also detained for their comments on the same incident were charged with the same charge – which exactly they said was not unveiled.

China revealed for the first time last week that four of its soldiers had died in a confrontation with Indian troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India.

Earlier, India said 20 of its soldiers were killed during the clash last year, while Peking recognized casualties but did not provide details.

The military news outlet of China, PLA Daily, named Chinese “heroic” soldiers to have given the region “youth, blood and even life” Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran. They were all awarded posthumous prizes.

For decades, India and China have been locked in a border conflict. The root cause is a disputed 3,440km (2,100-mile) border called the Real Control Line, which is undefined.

Rivers, lakes and snowcaps along the border mean that the line can shift, soldiers face to face and cause conflict at many points. However, the two countries have a long-standing agreement not to use weapons or explosives along the border.

In January of this year, both armies struck along the north-eastern border in the Sikkim state of India, injuring troops on both sides.

But since then, India and China have agreed to “disengage” themselves from the border in the middle of pulling troops from parts.


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