The Australian PM has demanded an official apology from China, after its Foreign Ministry spokesman called for justice over a recent war crimes report – with an illustration of a soldier holding a knife to a child’s throat.
“Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers,” Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said in a tweet on Monday morning.
We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable
The post was illustrated with a photo collage of a soldier in Australian military uniform holding a knife to a child’s throat, with a caption that read ‘Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!’
Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, &call for holding them accountable. pic.twitter.com/GYOaucoL5D
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) November 30, 2020
In an emergency press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison blasted Beijing for this “utterly outrageous” post that “cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever,” and demanded an official apology from the Chinese government – while calling on Twitter to wipe it immediately.
It is a false image, and a terrible slur on our great defense forces and the men and women who’ve served in that uniform for over 100 years.
The Chinese remarks and controversial attempt at trolling come in response to a recently released report that found “credible evidence” of war crimes perpetrated by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
An official four-year investigation found evidence that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 prisoners and civilians during their service in Afghanistan. The shocking details prompted the Australian government and the army to apologize to Kabul and the people of Afghanistan.
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