China mulls criminal law amendments to curb online military-related slander

Global Times
Li Jiayao
2019-02-16 00:40:48
Ma Huateng (R), Wang Yaping (C) and Xu Liyi, deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), receive an interview before the opening meeting of the first session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2018. Photo: Xinhua

China is considering including a proposal to amendments to the country's Criminal Law to curb military-related rumors online to better protect the image of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), PLA Daily reported on Friday.

A review on the proposal was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in December 2018. And it will be presented to NPC deputies during the second session of the 13th NPC, which is expected to take place in March.

The proposal is under consideration to the amendment to China's Criminal Law.

The development came after 37 deputies to the NPC, China's top legislative body, made proposals during the 2018 annual two sessions - the 13th NPC and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the report said.

The proposal calls for amending and improving laws and regulations, including the county's Criminal Law, to create a better litigation system for clearer, more authoritative and powerful legal tools against online military-related rumors, the PLA Daily report said.

Jiang Yong, one of the 37 deputies and also political commissar of the PLA Beijing Garrison Command, was quoted by the report as saying that "in recent years, more than 10,000 military-related slanderous comments have surfaced online annually," citing major false rumors such as "China offering soft loans of 20 billion yuan ($2.95 billion) to India in exchange for their retreat" as an example.

"Also, some online celebrities deliberately hype military-related hotspot issues, smearing the army's image and creating bad blood between the military and civilians, which has created extremely bad political and social influence," Jiang said.

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