Australia called for an apology after a senior Chinese officer put on the throat of an Afghan boy a misleading image of an Australian soldier carrying a blood knife, finding it ‘truly repugnant’ and ordering its elimination.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the press conference to criticize the posts of the photo, which represents a further worsening of the two countries’ relations.
Morrison said the Australian administration asked Twitter to delete the picture shared on its official Twitter account on Monday by China’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
“It’s outrageous and cannot on any basis be justified,” said Morrison. “This article should be completely ashamed of by the Chinese government. They are reduced in the eyes of the world.”
In the light of an independent study on suspected illicit murders in Afghanistan, Australia told 13 special forces, troops, that they are facing dismissal, the head of the country’s army said on Friday.
“It’s the Australian administration when it asked Morrison’s comments, that should be ashamed of its soldiers murdering innocent Afghan civilians.”
Hua said at the daily news conference held on Monday in Beijing that the image shared by her colleague indicates “indignation” among citizens. She said that Twitter and the Australian government have to determine how anything will be achieved.
In his argument, the Afghan government was “conscious of the photograph that displayed the wrongful behavior of an Australian soldier and has started investigating the matter.”
As Canberra called for an international investigation into the source of a coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s relations with China have worsened.
China outlined a list of concerns earlier this month surrounding Australia’s foreign investment, national security, and human rights policies, saying that Canberra had to correct its actions to improve its diplomatic ties with its biggest trading partner.
Morrison said that countries around the world watched Beijing in Australia’s relations with China reacting to tensions.
The Government of Afghanistan, which is engaged in peace talks with the Taliban as America withdraws forces, obtained millions of dollars in Australian assistance. The government, which shares a border with China and whose businesses participated in mining in a war-torn nation, has a widening economic partnership.
“That both Australia and China are key players in building and maintaining … peace and development consensus in Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan believes,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. “Afghanistan hopes that cooperation with both countries will be maintained and strengthened.”
The latest to a variety of trade restrictions on wine smuggled out from Australias on Friday, a move that Canberra has called unjustified and related to political grievances would introduce provisional anti-dumping tariffs of up to 212.1 percent.
Zhao wrote on Twitter, “Shocked by Australian soldiers murdering Afghan civilians and prisoners. We firmly condemn these actions and claim responsibility for them.”
The same message had been posted on his Twitter account on Friday but without a false picture of the soldier and child.
Morrison believed Australia had introduced “transparent and honest,” and that this is what a liberal free country does in order to examine the claims against the alleged soldiers.
Australia “was trying patiently” to overcome tensions in China and needed the Ministers to have immediate talks, he added. There was a mistake (Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Additional reporting by Cate Cadell, Orooj Hakimi, and Charlotte Greenfield Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Lincoln Feast, Raju Gopalakrishnan, and Tom Brown)