Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had posted an image on social media on November 30 that showed an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a child in Afghanistan. The image was edited and Australia demanded that it be taken down and China apologise for it.
For those unaware, a civil war has been raging across Afghanistan from decades, incited by the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, when the United States formed the Mujahideen to fight off the Soviets. As such, countries around the world have been sending soldiers on peacekeeping missions to fight the insurgents.
The doctored image contained a soldier over an Australian holding a blood-smeared knife against the throat of an Afghan child holding a goat over the Afghan flag. Relations between the two countries had already been in decline, partly because of the coronavirus outbreak, and this incident is bound to drastically accelerate this decline.
Along with the posted image, spokesman Zhao Lijian had also written that he was shocked by the killings of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers and hoped for the perpetrators to be punished.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called together a press conference where he criticised China. He called this action truly repugnant but China has so far refused to apologise.
Australia has requested Twitter to expunge the image from the website. Meanwhile, New Zealand has also condemned the image and demanded that China apologise.