The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has passed a law banning “defamation” or “insults” to military personnel, following the jailing of a blogger for posting about People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers during border clashes with Indian troops.
The standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the law on Thursday, banning organizations or individuals from “slandering or derogating the honor of servicemen [and women], nor may they insult or slander the reputation of members of the armed forces,” state news agency Xinhua reported.
Police officers and members of the People’s Armed Police are also included in the ban.
Any “infringement of the legitimate rights and interests” of military personnel seriously affecting their performance of their duties is also covered by the new legislation.
Honors obtained by a soldier are to be enjoyed for life, while schools are required to teach “the glorious history of the PLA and the heroic and exemplary deeds of soldiers.”
The law comes after blogger Qiu Ziming, who had more than 2.5 million followers on social media, was jailed for eight months for “defaming martyrs,” the first case since changes to the law earlier this year banning insults or defamation of revolutionary heroes and martyrs.
In September 2016, a blogger was asked to make a public apology after he challenged the story of Qiu Shaoyun, a soldier in the Korean War (1950-53).