China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying has expressed that they will not grant Australia’s request for an apology in connection with a controversial tweet posted by a Chinese official depicting an altered image of an Australian soldier about to slit an Afghan child’s throat with a bloodied knife. The post condemns the unlawful killings of 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians allegedly by elite Australian soldiers which was reported last month. The Australian government has already requested Twitter to remove the post. Currently, the post already has a warning tag but it still can be viewed. This incident worsened the growing disagreement between the two countries which started when the Australian government stipulated for an independent investigation on the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read: Australian Elite Soldiers Allegedly Took Part in Unlawful Killings During the Afghan War, Report Says
NPR.Org: China refuses to apologize to Australia after a government official posted an altered image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to a young Afghan boy’s throat.
NPR.Org announced that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had asked for an apology; instead, a Chinese government representative excoriated Australia for its troops’ alleged brutality in Afghanistan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was referring to a tweet by Zhao Lijian of a heavily manipulated image and wrote, “Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, &call for holding them accountable.”
Australia’s prime minister called the tweet repugnant, outrageous and offensive, adding, “The Chinese Government should be totally ashamed of this post.”
Associated Press: New Zealand has joined Australia in denouncing a graphic tweet posted by a Chinese official.
AP News disclosed that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday that New Zealand has voiced its concerns directly with Chinese authorities.
Ardern’s criticism was more muted than Australia’s. She faced an awkward choice of how far to get involved in a conflict between New Zealand’s closest ally, Australia, and its biggest trading partner, China.
China has not backed down from the tweet and said there will be no apology.