WARNING: Tweet contains an image which some may find distressing, reader discretion is advised.
Australia has demanded that China apologises for posting a “repugnant” fake picture posted by an official government Twitter account which depicted an Australian soldier cutting the throat of an Afghan child. The image also had a caption which read “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!”
The image refers to claims of war crimes carried out by Australian soldiers in the middle eastern country.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Beijing should be “utterly ashamed” for posting sharing such a “repugnant” image. He described it as “deeply offensive [and] utterly outrageous”.
“The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world’s eyes,” he said. “It is a false image and terrible slur on our defence forces.”
Though he went on to acknowledge that there had “undoubtedly” been tensions between the two nations recently, he concluded: “This is not how you deal with it.”
He warned China that other nations around the world were seeing Beijing’s actions towards Australia.
Furthermore, the Australian government has officially demanded that Twitter remove the post from its platform, labeling it as “disinformation”, and adding that they had established a transparent process to investigate the allegations of war crimes, as was expected of any “democratic, liberal” country.
Though it has been claimed that elite Australian soldiers used knives to kill two 14-year-old Afghan boys, these claims are, as of yet, unsubstantiated, and the Australian military denies them.
Australia’s relationship with China has been severely strained since the Australian government called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, and Beijing’s alleged influence Australian affairs. Since then China has rattled its sabre at its fellow pacific nation, putting huge tariffs on Australian goods such as wine, barley and beef, which the Aussie government has described as “unjust” and “economic coercion.”
The Chinese claim Australia have aggravated matters by deciding to block several Chinese investments, ban controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei from operating its 5G technologies, and “incessant wanton interference in China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs”.
“If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy”, the eastern superpower recently threatened.