NEW DELHI—China has jailed a popular blogger for “smearing martyrs” killed in last year’s bloody clash with Indian soldiers in Galwan.
Qiu Ziming, 38, an internet celebrity with 2.5 million followers on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, was sentenced to eight months in jail under China’s freshly amended criminal law aimed to suppress “online humiliation or insults against” martyrs, reported Chinese state-run media outlet the Global Times.
A court in Nanjing, in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, also ordered Ziming, known by the internet name of “Labixiaoqiu” to publicly apologize through national media to eliminate what the Global Times called “negative impact.”
The revised law can allow for sentencing of up to three years for such offenses, but the court said it awarded a lighter sentence to Ziming because he “confessed to his crime and entered a guilty plea and said in court that he would never commit the crime again.”
The Chinese media alleged the blogger spread false information smearing the “four martyrs” in a post on Feb. 10. The report claimed PLA soldiers were killed while dealing with the “Indian military’s illegal trespassing of the Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control.”
Indian and Chinese soldiers fought in the high-altitude Galwan valley in Ladakh in a bloody clash on June 15, 2020, that killed 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers.
Only months after the battle did China accept that it had lost four soldiers in Galwan, when it awarded posthumous honor to them. However, the Russian news agency TASS reported this year that China lost 45 soldiers in the conflict.
Dr. Harsh Pant, head of the Strategic Studies Programme at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, told The Epoch Times that the arrest of the Chinese blogger reflects a “defensive attitude on this question of what really happened at the Galwan valley and who is responsible for that and what were the consequences.”
“This is a Chinese attempt to look at information about this episode with suspicion, to shield information, to hide information.”
Pant said the situation is linked with the way the state machinery doesn’t want to expose what happened and its own “culpability in making that happen.”
The Chinese regime also arrested three bloggers last year for questioning the official version of what transpired in Galwan.