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

By Kirsty Needham

a man wearing a suit and tie: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits Tokyo

© Reuters/ISSEI KATO
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits Tokyo

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s prime minister said a fake image of an Australian soldier posted on a Chinese official’s Twitter account was “truly repugnant” and Canberra was demanding it be taken down, amid deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Scott Morrison called a media briefing to condemn the posting of the image, which depicted an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child, and said Canberra was seeking an apology from Beijing.

The Australian government has asked Twitter to remove the tweet, posted on Monday by China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, 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.”

Australia’s relationship with China has deteriorated since Canberra

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a person holding a sign: Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

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