Australia demands apology from China after fake image posted on social media

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday (Nov 30) Canberra is seeking an apology from Beijing, after a senior Chinese official posted a fake image of an Australian soldier holding a knife with blood on it to the throat of an Afghan child.

Morrison called a media briefing to condemn the posting of the image, marking another downturn in deteriorating relations between the two countries. The Australian government has asked Twitter to remove the image, posted on Monday by China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on his official Twitter account, Morrison said. “It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis,” Morrison said. “The Chinese government should be utterly ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world’s eyes.” He said countries around the world were watching how Beijing responded to tensions in Australia’s relationship with China.

Zhao had tweeted that he was “shocked by the murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, & call for holding them accountable”. sked about the tweet at a regular press briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying replied: “It is the Australian government who should feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians”.