China Has Hit Back At Scott Morrison After He Demanded An Apology Over A Doctored Image Showing An Australian Soldier Holding A Knife To The Throat Of An Afghan Child
China has hit back at Scott Morrison after he demanded an apology over a doctored image showing an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted the fake image on Twitter on Monday showing a smiling soldier covering a young child with the Australian flag.
'Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers.
We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable,' Mr Zhao wrote.
The caption on the photo mockingly read: 'Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace'.
The post referenced findings announced this month Australian soldiers were responsible for illegally killing 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009 and 2016.
The Australian prime minister said the post was 'repugnant' and called for an immediate apology, but the editor of Chinese Communist Party-controlled newspaper The Global Times Hu Xijin said the country's government had nothing to apologise for.
The Chinese government has defended attacking Australia over war crimes allegations by posting this falsified image on Twitter, through its newspaper mouthpiece The Global Times
'It is a popular cartoon that condemns the Australian Special Forces' brutal murder of 39 Afghan civilians,' he wrote on Twitter.
'On what ground does Morrison feel angry over the use of this cartoon by the spokesperson of the Chinese FM [foreign minister]?
'It's ridiculous and shameless he demanded China to apologise.'
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In a further barbed tweet later on Monday evening, Mr Xijin accused Australia of being an '"urban-rural fringe" of Western civilization where gangsters roamed'.
'If the US wants to do something bad, it seeks thugs in such a place.
Australian army's killing of Afghan civilians and Scott Morrison's attitude prove Canberra's barbarism,' he said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying meanwhile spoke in a live TV broadcast to condemn the actions of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
The editor of Chinese Communist Party-controlled newspaper The Global Times Hu Xijin tweeted the country's government had nothing to apologise for, before condemning the killing of Afghan civilians by Australian soldiers
'Some Australian soldiers committed serious crimes in Afghanistan,' she said.
'The details are appalling and shocking including men and boys who were shot dead all with their throats slit while blindfolded.
'There are stories about two 14-year-old boys whose throats were slit and their bodies were thrown into a recruit and recruits were told to kill prisoners in a practice known as blooding.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Australian government should feel 'ashamed' about war crimes committed by its soldiers in Afghanistan
'These cruel crimes have been condemned by the international community.'
She then said those offended by the Twitter post should redirect their anger towards the atrocities committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
'The Australian side has reacted so strongly to my colleague's Twitter, does that mean that they think the cold blood murder of Afghan innocent civilians is justified while other people's condemnation of such crimes are not justified?' she said.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted the fake image with this tweet
'Afghan lives matter.
The Australian government should bring the culprits to justice and offer an official apology to the Afghan people and make the solemn pledge that they will never repeat such crimes.
'They said the Chinese government should feel ashamed.
'It is Australian soldiers who committed such cruel crimes.
Shouldn't the Australian government feel ashamed? Shouldn't they feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians?'
Mr Morrison earlier on Monday hit out at the post and said he had asked China and Twitter to remove it.
'The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world's eyes,' he said in a virtual press conference.
'Australia is seeking an apology from the ministry of foreign affairs, from the Chinese government for this outrageous post.
'We are also seeking its removal immediately and have also contacted Twitter to take it down immediately.'
Mr Morrison said Twitter should take down the image because it is false.
'It is a false image, and a terrible slur on our great defence forces and the men and women who've served in that uniform for over 100 years,' he said.
'It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever.'
Mr Morrison said he has tried to speak to President Xi Jinping and ministers have tried to call their counterparts but the Chinese are not picking up the phone.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison (pictured in a press conference on Monday) slammed the 'disgusting and disgraceful' post and said he has asked China and du lịch ba li Twitter to remove it
The provocative post is likely to worsen tensions between Beijing and Canberra which have escalated since Mr Morrison infuriated Australia's largest trading partner by calling for kynghidongduong.vn an independent inquiry into the origins of coronavirus in April.
China has recently held up Australia's coal and seafood exports and last week put a 200 per cent tariff on Aussie wine despite the two countries signing a free trade deal in 2015.
Earlier this year Beijing slapped an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, suspended beef imports and told students and tourists not to travel Down Under.
'There are undoubtedly tensions that exist between China and Australia, but this is not how you deal with them,' Mr Morrison said.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao (pictured) posted the fake image on Monday
A four-year Australian Defence Force inquiry earlier this month reported evidence of 39 murders of civilians or prisoners by 25 Aussies serving in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2016.
The report alleged troops would force new recruits to get their first kills by murdering prisoners in a practice known as 'blooding'.
The Australian government has set up a special investigator to probe the allegations.
Troops involved face criminal charges and being stripped of medals.
In a press briefing on Friday, Mr Zhou - who is regularly critical of Australia's foreign policy - said the allegations make Australia hypocritical for raising concerns about China's alleged detention of Muslims in Xinjiang province.
'Australia and some other western countries always portray themselves as human rights defenders and wantonly criticise other countries' human rights conditions,' he said.
'The facts revealed by this report fully exposed the hypocrisy of the human rights and freedom these western countries are always chanting.'
China's criticism comes after Russia claimed the allegations had weakened Australia's international standing.
Moscow's foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the allegations called into question Australia's commitment to protecting the rules-based world order.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news" data-version="2" id="mol-34adfbf0-32bc-11eb-abb3-d985d170ef86" website hits back over Scott Morrison's apology demand over fake tweet