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Woman Behind Bars In China For Defending Comedian's Controversial Xi Jinping Military Joke

Chinese authorities have arrested a woman for insulting the People’s Liberation Army, after she defended a comedian’s joke about a Xi Jinping military slogan.

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Digital Desk
China Xi Jinping

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According to authorities in the city of Dalian, northeast China, a woman has been arrested for sharing "inappropriate comments related to military personnel," reported Morning Express. After her post was reported to the authorities, a woman with the last name Shi was taken into custody on Tuesday night. Police revealed that she had used her account on the Chinese social network Weibo to express her personal frustrations online.

“No blasphemy will be allowed for the dignity of military personnel,” the police asserted in their statement.

Based on screenshots of the Weibo post, it was observed that Shi had raised concerns about the suspension of Chinese comedian Li Haoshi, who is popularly known by his stage name House. Li had used a phrase associated with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during his comedy show.

“Why does House have to be banned? Aren’t all brother soldiers brothers dogs?” Shi wrote in the post, using a canine emoji for the word dog. His message has been deleted and his account deactivated, reports said.

In his message, Shi referred to Li's joke about adopting two stray dogs after relocating to Shanghai. The comedian used the famous slogan associated with the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army, which states, "Fine style of work, capable of winning battles."

"We will never allow any company or individual use the Chinese capital as a stage to wantonly slander the glorious image of the PLA," the Chinese cultural bureau said.

China has implemented stringent censorship measures on subjects it deems sensitive. Additionally, in 2021, the country enacted a law that prohibits slander and insults directed towards military personnel.

Beijing slaps Li's comedy group with $3 million fine

Following the military joke made by one of its comedians that garnered significant public criticism, a prominent comedy company in China has been fined 14.7 million yuan ($3.1 million) for "harming society," as stated by Chinese authorities.

The Beijing branch of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Bureau in China has announced that it will impose a fine of 13.35 million yuan on Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media Co. Additionally, they will confiscate 1.35 million yuan in "illegal gains" from the company. The decision came after an investigation revealed that a recent performance by Li Haoshi, who goes by the stage name House, had violated regulations.

This incident has sparked a significant division among the Chinese public regarding the appropriateness of certain jokes, particularly as stand-up comedy gains popularity. It has also brought attention to the boundaries of acceptable content in China, where authorities emphasize the need for content to promote core socialist values.

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