India-China Himalayan Border Clash: China detains blogger for comments on conflict

Chinese authorities arrested a blogger for comments on Chinese soldiers who died in a Himalayan border clash with Indian troops last year.

The 38-year-old man identified as Ziming Qiu for “maliciously distorting the truth” about the conflict, authorities said.

In two social media posts Qiu said the 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.

Qiu with 2.5 million followers on Weibo was handed a ban for one year. Police said he confessed to “illegal behaviour to gain the attention of netizens, distorting facts on Weibo and slandering and demeaning the heroes defending the border”.

He is one of at least seven people that China has detained for their allegedly inappropriate remarks on this incident.

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

A Chinese law passed in 2018 bans people from “slandering heroes and martyrs”. If convicted the maximum punishment goes up to three years.

China had earlier last week revealed for the first time that four of its soldiers died in a clash with Indian troops at the Galwan Valley in India’s Ladakh region.

Previously, India said that 20 of its soldiers were killed in last year’s clash, while Beijing acknowledged casualties but did not disclose details.