Australia has asked China to apologize for sharing a fake picture on its official Twitter account. In this picture, an Australian soldier is shown killing an Afghan child.
In a TV address, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said China should be ashamed to share this “disgusting” picture.
“It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis … The Chinese government should be utterly ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world’s eyes,” Morrison told media at a press briefing.
“This sort of conduct is not conducive to any relationship,” Morrison said of the tweet, calling it an “outrageous and disgusting slur” against the Australian armed forces.
“That’s why I think it’s so important in our mutual interests that this egregious act be dealt with.”
This has happened at a time when political tension between the two countries is continuously increasing.
The photo was linked to alleged war crimes of some Australian soldiers.
A report earlier this month said that between 2009 and 2013, 25 Australian soldiers were allegedly involved in the killing of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.
Findings of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) investigation were severely criticized and now police are investigating the case.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a manipulated photo showing an Australian soldier sitting next to a child carrying a blood-stained knife. In the picture there is a lamb in the lap of the child.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported in its report that the picture was linked to unfounded rumors that Australian soldiers used knives to kill two Afghan teenagers.
However, no evidence was found to prove these rumors.
The tweet read: “Australian soldiers are shocked by the killing of Afghan civilians and prisoners. We strongly condemn such acts, and demand their accountability fixed.”
Morrison described the post as “disgusting and completely abusive”.
He said, “The Chinese government should be completely ashamed of this post.”
Australia has appealed to Twitter to remove this post as “propaganda” from all its platforms.