Former Chinese journalist Luo Changping was detained by police in the country Thursday after critiquing China’s role in the Korean War and its depiction in a blockbuster film on social media.
Luo’s commentary was in reaction to a state-sponsored film, “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” that portrays an American loss in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, The New York Times reported.
According to the Times, Luo took to the social media platform Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, and questioned the legal justification of China’s intervention when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. At the time, northern troops were close to defeat.
In the battle, United Nations forces were forced to withdraw from North Korea by Chinese forces.
“Half a century later, few Chinese people have reflected on the justifiability of the war,” the journalist wrote, according to the Times. Luo then commented on a specific Chinese military unit in the film, saying they “did not doubt the ‘wise decision’ of the top.”
Luo’s arrest was propagated on state media and China’s main television network, CCTV.
The country’s government has been known to monitor social media platforms used in China, taking posts down that appear critical of leaders and the Chinese Communist Party. The Times reported that the government sought to make an example out of Luo, who was forced out of the journalism industry in 2014.
Luo’s Weibo account has since been blocked and the original post has been deleted, according to the Times.
“Some individuals still try to completely deny the War of Resistance against the United States and Aid Korea, question the justice of sending troops, and try to erase the great victory,” read a statement on The People’s Liberation Army social media accounts, according to the Times.
“No matter how they distort, obliterate, falsify, tease and denigrate the facts, history is written in the hearts of the people,” the statement continued, according to the paper.
The former journalist, now a businessman, was charged under a criminal code that took effect this year which makes the disparagement of political martyrs illegal, the Times reported. The crime can lead to a prison sentence of up to three years.
The news comes as China is cracking down on media in the country. Last month, regulators issued new rules prohibiting minors from engaging in “harmful” video game content and limiting the amount of time they can play games. The country also set new guidelines last month slamming the entertainment industry for “severely polluting the social atmosphere.”