The repercussions of the India-China border clash in the Ladakh region are still not over. A Chinese-origin permanent resident of the US, wanted by Beijing for his comments, was released by Dubai authorities on Thursday after weeks of his detention, Associated Press reported.
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China had sought Wang Jingyu over his comment on social media where he questioned Beijing over the deadly clash between Chinese and Indian forces in Galwan Valley last year.
According to reports, Wang, a 19-year-old student was arrested at Dubai International Airport while on his way to New York.
The US State Department acknowledged his arrest, described the case as a “human rights” concern and warned that he “could face extradition to China”.
Wang came to the attention of Chinese authorities last year after the brutal clash between Chinese and Indian troops on June 15, 2020, in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
The clash was the deadliest between the nuclear powers in decades which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers while China admitted to the deaths of 4 PLA troops, a claim many experts in India call ‘deflated numbers’.
After the Galwan valley clash, Wang had raised questions online as to why Beijing waited six months to release information (on PLA casualties), initiating a harassment campaign by the authorities that saw him flee to Istanbul, AP report says.
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China, on its part, had clarified that the delayed announcement was aimed at safeguarding the ongoing peace process with India so that public sentiments are not provoked on either side.
The PLA also said the announcement was aimed at honoring the soldiers and “setting the record straight” after it accused India of “distorting the truth” and “slandering the Chinese border troops”.
Four Chinese soldiers, who were sacrificed in last June's border conflict, were posthumously awarded honorary titles and first-class merit citations, Central Military Commission announced Friday. A colonel, who led them and seriously injured, was conferred with honorary title. pic.twitter.com/Io9Wk3pXaU
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) February 19, 2021
China’s People Daily in a tweet had confirmed on February 19: Four Chinese soldiers, who were sacrificed in last June’s border conflict, were posthumously awarded honorary titles and first-class merit citations, Central Military Commission announced Friday. A colonel, who led them and was seriously injured, was conferred with an honorary title.
The AP report says that the police in Wang’s hometown of Chongqing have booked him for violating a 2018 law against demeaning heroes and martyrs and called his parents in for questioning.
They “pressured him to sign a document allowing him to be deported back to China, where he is wanted for what can only be described as freedom-of-speech crimes”, the letter added.
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As EurAsian Times had reported on August 7, 2020, a Chinese netizen was arrested after he was accused of spreading misinformation over the death of Chinese PLA soldiers in the Galwan valley clash.
The netizen (Zhou) had criticized the poor quality of military vehicles supplied by the Dongfeng company that had purportedly resulted in a number of casualties on the Chinese side during its clash with Indian troops.
After discovering that Zhou had posted details on the death of Chinese PLA troops on his WeChat and claimed that internal corruption of the Dongfeng Company had led to the poor quality of its military vehicles resulting in the casualties of Chinese soldiers – the Dongfeng Company immediately informed the authorities.
Zhou was later arrested and reportedly admitted to his crime of rumor-mongering, displayed guilt, and penned an apology letter, claims the Chinese reports.
Meanwhile, in the case of Wang, the US State Department said it had been “actively seeking information” on Wang’s case as he could be deported to China.
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“We actively discourage foreign governments from embracing the tactic of menacing journalists and dissidents overseas and will continue to make clear to partners and adversaries alike that this increasingly prevalent practice must end,” the State Department said.
“Freedom of expression should never be criminalized.”