|Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2020.(File photo by =REUTERS/Issei Kato)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Australia demanded an apology 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, calling it “truly repugnant” and demanding it is taken down.
Prime Minister Scott 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 the Australian government who should feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians,” said Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, when asked about Morrison’s comments.
Australia has told 13 special forces, soldiers, they face dismissal in relation to an independent report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan, the head of the country’s army said on Friday. Australia’s relationship with China has deteriorated since Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Morrison said countries around the world were watching how Beijing responded to tensions in Australia’s relationship with China. Australia had “patiently sought” to address tensions in the relationship with China and wanted direct discussion between ministers, he said.