China calling out Human rights abuse with fake photo depicting an Australian soldier cutting the throat of an Afghan child while in the REAL world Chinese Human eights abuses run rampant ie imprisoning 1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps in Xinjiang – Mick Raven
Scott Morrison demands apology from China over ‘repugnant’ tweet showing Australian soldier threatening to kill child
Stephen Dziedzic and Jane Norman
30th Nov 2020
Scott Morrison says the tweet from a Chinese Government spokesman was “repugnant”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is demanding the Chinese Government delete a “repugnant” tweet attacking the Australian Defence Force in the wake of a landmark war crimes inquiry.
WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.
- China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman tweeted a fake image showing an Australian soldier murdering a child
- Scott Morrison is demanding a formal apology from the Chinese Government over the image
- Last week China said it “strongly condemned” the actions of Australian soldiers who allegedly committed war crimes
The Chinese Government posted the extraordinary and violent image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child, as relations between the two nations continue to spiral downwards.
China and Russia have both attacked Australia following the release of the Brereton report which found Australian special forces committed at least 39 unlawful killings during the war in Afghanistan.
Mr Morrison said the Government had reached out to the Chinese Government and contacted Twitter to have the post removed.
“Australia’s seeking an apology from the Chinese Government for this outrageous post,” he said.
“We’re also seeking its removal immediately.
“There are undoubtedly tensions that exist between China and Australia, but this is not how you deal with them,” Mr Morrison added.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said there was no justification for the tweet which was the most “egregious” example of social media disinformation she had witnessed in her career.
“The Australian Government has called in the Chinese ambassador and sought an apology from the ambassador in relation to this tweet,” she told Question Time.
“We will [also] be conveying that message directly in Beijing through our ambassador.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he supported the Prime Minister’s comments.
“Australia’s condemnation of this image is above politics … and we all stand as a nation in condemning it,” he said.
Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong also deplored the tweet, describing it as as “gratuitous” and “inflammatory”.
“These tactics will be met with unified condemnation in the Australian community and they will be judged harshly by the international community.
“The allegations in the Brereton report have horrified Australia.
“What sets us apart is the dignified, transparent and accountable manner of our response.”
Last week China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China “strongly condemned” the soldiers’ actions, and said the report “fully exposed the hypocrisy of the human rights and freedom these Western countries are always chanting”.
But today Mr Zhao dramatically intensified his attack on Australia, saying on Twitter he was “shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers.”
He accompanied the tweet with an illustration which appeared to show a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of a child who is holding a lamb.
The child’s face is covered with a blue cloth. The text beneath the photo reads: “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!”
The image was tweeted by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian.(Supplied: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
It has since emerged that the image was created by an artist who often makes politically-charged statements and posted the picture on Chinese social media platform, Weibo, last week.
It appears to be a reference to rumours that members of the SAS cut the throats of two 14-year-old Afghan boys who they suspected were Taliban sympathisers.
But those hearsay accounts were never substantiated during the four-year-long Brereton inquiry.
The shocking image seems deliberately designed to provoke anger in Australia. One Federal Government source dismissed the photo as “rank propaganda”.
Last week Mr Morrison tried to reframe the debate over the bilateral relationship by praising China’s economic record and urging it not to view Australia through the lens of strategic competition with the United States.
But on Friday the Chinese Government announced sweeping tariffs on Australian wine exports which are likely to cripple parts of the industry.
The shocking image posted from Zhao Lijian seems to indicate that Beijing’s hostility towards Australia has cemented.
One Federal Government source said the fact the post was given the green light showed that Beijing was intent on displaying contempt towards Australia and would continue ramping up pressure in an attempt to extract concessions.