Fu Yu, also is known as Qilin, a Chinese graphic artist who claims to have been behind the fake image said earlier that he created the manipulated graphic as a means of criticizing Australia over the damning Brereton war crimes inquiry, whose military recently released a shocking report describing war crimes by elite troops.
Tensions between China and Australia hit a new low after a fake image of an Australian soldier smiling and slitting the throat of an Afghani child was tweeted by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday, prompting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to call it “truly repugnant” and demand that it be removed and Beijing issue an apology.
Although Twitter is blocked in China, it is regularly used by Chinese diplomats. Zhao’s tweet, pinned to the top of his Twitter account, was “liked” by 60,000 followers, after Twitter labeled it as sensitive content but declined Canberra’s request to remove the image, according to Reuters.
Morrison’s office reportedly confirmed that the material published on the PM’s official account was deleted overnight.
In the WeChat post, Morrison defended Australia’s handling of the Brereton war crimes investigation into the actions of special forces in Afghanistan and said Australia would deal with “thorny issues” in a transparent manner.
Reuters noted that by Wednesday, Morrison’s message had been read by some 57,000 WeChat users.
Morrison also reassured Chinese Australians…