Australia PM slams China tweet showing fake image of 'soldier killing Afghan child'

Australia PM slams China tweet showing fake image of 'soldier killing Afghan child'
A Chinese government spokesman posted the fake image to twitter amid escalating tensions between Canberra and Beijing.
2 min read
30 November, 2020
Scott Morisson said the move was "utterly outregeous" [Getty]
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday condemned a fake image of an Australian soldier appearing to murder an Afghan child posted to the Twitter accounts of a Chinese government spokesman, amid escalating tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing an grinning Australian soldier with a bloody knife next to a child, who is seen holding a lamb.

The caption reads: "Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strong condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable".

The tweet has since received over 11,000 responses and
nearly 10,000 shares.

Australian Prime Minister Morrison has blasted the move as "utterly outrageous" and unable to be "justified on any basis."

He said the Australian government was demanding an apology from China and has asked Twitter to remove the tweet.

The subject matter of the image concerns alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers, which include the unlawful killings of Afghan civilians and prisoners.

Early this month, a report by the Australian Defence Force found "credible information" that 25 Australian soldiers were involved in the murders of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009, allegations which have since sparked a police investigation, BBC report.

The incident is the latest spat between the two countries and comes amid deteriorating relations.

China has slapped economic sanctions on Australian goods, while state-backed news have attacked Australia over a range of issues. 

Beijing's hostility appears to be connected to Canberra's decision to combat its regional supremacy as well as calls for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest post relflects China's more aggressive approach to communications with other countries, something analysts have termed "wolf warrior" diplomacy.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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