Fury as China tweets horrific fake pic of Aussie soldier killing an Afghan child as it mocks SAS ‘war crimes’

AUSTRALIAN prime minister Scott Morrison has reacted furiously to a fake picture tweeted by a Chinese state official showing an Australian soldier cutting the throat of an Afghan child.

It comes after a report by the Australian military found “credible evidence” of the allegedly unlawful killing of 19 Afghan civilians by the country’s special forces.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison called the tweet 'repugnant'


Australian prime minister Scott Morrison called the tweet ‘repugnant’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
The tweet came from the account of foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao


The tweet came from the account of foreign ministry spokesman Lijian ZhaoCredit: AP:Associated Press
It showed an Australian soldier supposedly cutting the throat of an Afghan child


It showed an Australian soldier supposedly cutting the throat of an Afghan childCredit: Twitter

The report, which comes after a four-year inquiry, recommended that 19 soldiers be referred to federal police for criminal investigations.

Among the people allegedly killed were prisoners, farmers, female civilians, and two 14-year-old boys whose throats were reportedly slit because they were suspected of being Taliban sympathisers.

Responding to the report, Lijian Zhao, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, posted an image on Twitter showing a soldier cutting the throat of a boy who was holding a lamb and whose head was wrapped in the Australian flag.

A captioned read: “Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers.

“We strongly condemn such acts, & call for holding them accountable.”

It comes amid ongoing tensions between China and Australia that stem from a call by the Australian government for an independent inquiry into China’s handling of the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

China also objects to public statements by the Australian government on the status of Taiwan as well as China’s human rights record in Hong Kong.

Recent months have seen China impose new tariffs on Australian goods – including a 200 per cent tariff on wine – and denying Australian ships permission to offload cargo in Chinese ports.


At a press conference following Zhao’s tweet, Prime Minister Morrison called the image “repugnant” and called on the Chinese government to apologise.

“It is utterly outrageous and it cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever,” he said.

“The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world’s eyes.

“Australia is seeking an apology from the Chinese government for this outrageous post.

“We are also seeking its removal immediately and have also contacted Twitter to take it down immediately.”

As of Monday morning, the post remained up on Twitter.

Zhao’s account already came with a label notifying users that he is an official in the Chinese government.

Despite twitter and other American social media platforms being banned in China, diplomats and state media in the country have established a strong presence on them and used them to broadcast messages abroad.

Zhao in particular has become known as a leading representative of China’s new strain of assertive foreign relations.

In March, he was criticised by the US after tweeting a conspiracy theory that claimed American soldiers could have brought the coronavirus to China.

Morrison acknowledged that relations between the countries had been strained but added: “This is not how you deal with them.”


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