The authorities in China have charged a popular Chinese blogger for posts regarding military casualties in the Galwan valley clash with India last June.
The authorities accused 38-year-old Qiu Ziming of demeaning military casualties of the border clash.
Qiu 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.
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 said 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.