Australia has demanded China apologise for posting a fake picture on a government Twitter account that depicted an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a fabricated image which portrayed an Australian soldier with a bloody knife next to a child. The child is seen holding a lamb.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Beijing should be utterly ashamed for sharing the repugnant image.
He added that Australia had established a transparent process to investigate the alleged war crimes, as was expected of a democratic, liberal country.
It comes amid escalating political tensions between the two countries.
The image referred to alleged war crimes by some Australian soldiers.
Earlier this month, a report found credible information that 25 Australian soldiers were involved in the murders of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009 and 2013.
The findings from the Australian Defence Force inquiry sparked widespread condemnation, and are now being investigated by police.
The image appears to be a reference to previously reported allegations that elite Australian soldiers used knives to murder two 14-year-old Afghan boys.
Australia has requested Twitter remove the post from its platform, describing it as disinformation.