China Charges Blogger Over Posts On Casualties In Galwan Clash with India

A popular Chinese blogger with millions of followers has been charged for posts regarding military casualties in the Galwan valley clash with India last June.

The authorities accused the popular blogger of demeaning military casualties of the border clash, South China Morning Post reported. 38-year-old Qiu Ziming was charged for comments that prosecutors in the eastern city of Nanjing said, “distorted facts, defamed five soldiers who defended the Chinese border, and have led to severely negative social impacts”.

The comments came after China admitted for the first time that four of its soldiers had been killed and one seriously wounded during the clash that took place in the Himalayas, SCMP reported.

Qiu, a former reporter with the weekly Economic Observer, had 2.5 million followers on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo when he had published two posts that suggested a commander survived the clashes because he was the highest-ranking officer there.
He also suggested that more Chinese soldiers might have been killed in the conflict than those disclosed by the authorities.

Last month, the Chinese military ended its months-long silence to say that four soldiers – Chen Hongjun, 33, Xiao Siyuan, 24, Wang Zhuoran, 24 and Chen Xiangrong, 18 – were killed in the conflict in the Galwan Valley in June. Their commanding officer Qi Fabao, 41, was badly wounded.

State media had also released footage of the clash showing Qi walking with open arms towards Indian troops and trying to stop them. Meanwhile, the Russian news agency last month had claimed that 45 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clashes at the Galwan Valley.
In a commentary on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua accused Qiu of “damaging the reputation of heroes, hurting nationalistic feelings and poisoning patriotic hearts” with his sensational posts.

The Chinese Communist Party has long been accused of suppressing the idea that could undermine the sweeping authority.

In just the past few years, the government has attempted to muzzle critics by making them disappear without a trace, ordering people to physically barge into their houses, or locking up those close to critics as a kind of blackmail.


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