China charges blogger with insulting Korean War dead

BEIJING (AP) — A popular figure on Chinese social media has been arrested on charges he insulted soldiers who froze to death during a Korean War battle.

Luo Changping referred to Chinese soldiers known as the “Ice Sculpture Company” as the “Sand Sculpture Company,” or “Stupid Company” in internet slang, on his Sina Weibo account.

Luo’s case was handed to prosecutors in his southern hometown of Sanya in January, state TV reported Saturday. It gave no indication when he might stand trial.

The “Ice Sculpture Company” were soldiers who froze to death during a battle with U.S.-led United Nations forces at Chosin Reservoir in November and December 1950. Temperatures are estimated to have fallen as low as -40 C (-40 F).

Luo has some 2 million followers online, according to China Central Television.

Luo is accused of “insulting and slandering” war heroes, which is “blatant opposition to and trampling on core socialist values and patriotism,” CCTV said on its website.

It gave no details of possible penalties, but other news reports cited the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs. The law allows for prosecution or lawsuits against people accused of hurting the reputation of war veterans but gives no specific penalties.