A social media celebrity in China was sent to 8 months in prison for mocking the Chinese soldiers who were killed during the Galwan Valley clash with Indian Army personnel.
“Qiu Ziming, or Labixiaoqiu, an internet celebrity with 2.5 million followers, was sentenced to 8 months in prison for infringing on reputation of heroes and martyrs, and ordered to make a public apology. In Feb, he smeared martyrs killed in Galwan Valley border clash with India,” a tweet posted by Global Times said.
Qiu Ziming, or “Labixiaoqiu,” an internet celebrity with 2.5 million followers, was sentenced to 8 months in prison for infringing on reputation of heroes and martyrs, and ordered to make a public apology. In Feb, he smeared martyrs killed in Galwan Valley border clash with India pic.twitter.com/WhO7jLEcJQ— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 31, 2021
Qui was arrested by the Chinese police earlier in February 2021 for allegedly smearing PLA soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley border clash with India. According to a report published in Global Times, Qui was arrested for spreading false information and smearing four soldiers who died and one who was wounded during their skirmishes with the Indian Army on China’s Twitter-like Social media platform Sina Weibo.
Shortly after his arrest, Qui’s Weibo account, which had more than 2.5 million followers, was suspended for mocking the Chinese soldiers who lost their lives during their illegal trespassing of the Indian territory.
Galwan Valley clashes and how opposition India politicians helped China in spreading misinformation
On the night of June 15th 2020, China had attacked Indian soldiers and unilaterally tried to change the status quo in Eastern Ladakh by attempting to intrude into Galwan valley. In the violent face-off where Indian soldiers managed to push the PLA soldiers back, 20 Indian soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice and reportedly, China had lost 43 of their men. After the face-off, China had vociferously denied reports of casualties on their side and called it a misinformation campaign.
Soon after the clashes took place, the Indian opposition politicians fell over themselves to use the tragedy in their bid to undermine the Modi government. Senior Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi raised aspersions by asking why the soldiers did not carry weapons (ignoring that the treaty signed by India in 1993 and 1996 prevented that), alluding to either incompetence of soldiers or the intentions of their superiors.
It was then alleged that Gandhi’s insinuations helped China in spreading misinformation with regard to the Galwan Valley clashes. As such, Gandhi’s mysterious relationship with China had come under spotlight several times, most notably during the Doklam stand-off when he was caught secretly meeting Chinese officials.
The Gandhi-scion, not once but twice, was caught meeting Chinese officials, raising suspicion among the policymakers regarding the intent of his secretive meeting with the Chinese. The first meeting had taken place in 2017, when Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, especially at a time when India and China were in the middle of a stand-off at Doklam. While Congress had denied such meetings and had termed news reports suggesting that the Gandhi-scion had indeed met Chinese officials as ‘fake news’, the Chinese embassy itself confirmed the same much to Congress’ embarrassment.
Besides, several other opposition politicians in India also used the Galwan tragedy to attack the Indian government, and in the process casting doubts over the prowess of the Indian Army.
Chinese admit to casualties it suffered during the Galwan Valley
However, months after claiming that it suffered no casualties in the Galwan Valley clashes, China in February this year posthumously awarded honorary titles to 4 of those who had died during the attempted intrusion into India—a confirmation that China too had suffered casualties in the deadly clashes.