Authorities in China have detained three persons, including a journalist, for allegedly insulting the soldiers who died last year in the military confrontation with India in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, The Hindu reported on Monday.
Qiu Ziming, an investigative journalist formerly with The Economic Observer, was detained on Saturday in Nanjing, “for insulting the fallen heroes” on Weibo, the Twitter-equivalent used in China, according to Beijing’s mouthpiece, The Global Times. His Weibo account was also suspended.
On February 19, the Chinese military for the first time announced that four of its soldiers were killed in the border clash along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15, which was the deadliest incident between the Asian giants in nearly 45 years.
The four killed were named state martyrs, while Qi Fabao, a regimental commander who was wounded in the clash, was awarded the title of “hero regimental commander for defending the border”.
In messages posted on Weibo, Qui had suggested the fatalities on Chinese side are likely to be higher than the official account. He also questioned why the authorities took eight months to make the reveal the details of casualties. India’s prompt announcement, Qui said, suggested that “in India’s view they won and paid a lesser price”, according to The Hindu.
Immediately after the hand-fought battle between the two sides, India announced it had lost 20 of its soldiers. China was believed to have also had casualties but did not provide any details till last week.
The police in China said that the journalist was arrested “for the offence of stirring up trouble that brought about a severe negative social impact,” the newspaper reported. They added that Qui had made “a full confession to his illegal smearing of martyrs”, which he made in order to “cause an internet sensation”.
A second blogger was detained in Beijing for his comments on Chinese instant messaging app WeChat. The police said they had received a report “of a person aged 28, surnamed Chen, publishing insulting comments in a group chat about the PLA soldiers who died when dealing with the Indian military’s illegal trespassing in the Galwan Valley”, according to The Global Times.
According to the report, Chen’s comments “sparked fury among other members” of the WeChat group, who later reported his remarks to the police. The case was quickly investigated, and local police found Chen on Saturday evening, “who said he had done it to vent his emotions”, it said, adding that further investigation was underway.
A third person, identified as a 25-year-old surnamed Yang, was detained in southwestern Sichuan province, in the city of Mianyang on Saturday. The police said that Yang was detained after some internet users reported him for posting “smears toward the PLA soldiers, who fought in the China-India border clash”. Yang confessed to the police the following day, and he was given seven days of detention, according to The Global Times.