A University of Minnesota student was charged with provocation over malicious tweets targetting high officials of the Chinese government.
Minnesota student charged for provocation
Despite being overseas, a University of Minnesota student was charged for provocation by Chinese officials for blundering several high ranking government officials including Chinese President Xi Jinping in several of his tweets on social media.
The Chinese student was named Luo Daiqing, attending the University of Minnesota in the U.S. His sentence was passed on by a district court in China. The Minnesota student is charged with provocation which merits six months of detention. Luo served his sentence in Wuhan, China from July 12 last year till January 11 this year.
The account used in the controversial tweet issue was already taken down last Thursday. But according to news sources, the Twitter account used to contain government slogans accompanied by villain cartoon characters, one of which was believed to be representing Chinese President Xi Jin Ping.
Several images of the cartoon Winnie the Pooh was also seen in the account, which is quite a sensitive content in Chinese social media due to a hint of resemblance towards the chief of the Communist Party.
China strictly monitors anti-government ideologies
The incident with the U.S student is just a clear indication that China is strictly monitoring anti-government attacks on social media, even outside of its borders. Despite some major social media platforms are banned in China, including Twitter, a lot of tech-savvy Chinese uses virtual private networks (VPN) to bypass this limitation.
Luo, admitted to the charges against him, saying he just did t to gain attention. Even using a fake account to vent out his frustration, the government was still able to track him down. This was not the first time that China had its eyes on social media posts criticizing the way the officials govern the Mainland. Just recently, Arsenal lost major support from China, perhaps the biggest fan base of the popular German football club, due to a statement of one of its popular player Mesut Ozil over the alleged Uyghur concentration camps.
Human groups both from China and the International community are accusing Chinese authorities of forcibly extracting confessions to suspects in exchange for lesser punishments but there is yet no enough evidence to fight these accusations in court.