Man who defaced Mao Zedong's picture jailed for 14 months in China

BEIJING (AFP) - A man who threw a jar of ink at the imposing portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Beijing's Tiananmen Square has been jailed for 14 months, media said Wednesday.

Sun Bing in March last year "defaced" the iconic picture which hangs prominently above the south gate of the Forbidden City to achieve "his own personal goals", the Legal Evening News said, without giving details.

Beijing's Dongcheng Court believed the 42-year-old "ignored the country's laws, stirred up trouble in a public place, (and) created serious disorder and confusion in a public place with actions that jeopardised the social order", the newspaper said.

Sun had previously been handed a prison sentence for credit card fraud, the report added.

In 1989 three men were sentenced to jail terms of at least 16 years each after throwing eggs filled with ink at the portrait of the revolutionary leader during democracy protests there that year.

The portrait has been the target of vandalism attacks at least twice since then.

The imprisonment of Sun comes afer one of China's most famous television hosts reportedly had his shows taken off air after he allegedly insulted Communist China's founding father.

A video posted online showed Bi Fujian - who has hosted CCTV's New Year Gala, the world's most watched television programme - calling Mao a "son of a bitch" and mocking the revolutionary leader while singing in Peking Opera style at a dinner.

State broadcaster CCTV said it was investigating Bi for having caused a "serious social impact".