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China revives vile Aussie soldiers’ claim

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China has brought back up claims of Australia’s alleged war crimes in Afghanistan as it criticises the country’s new nuclear submarine deal.

    China has ratcheted up the rhetoric over Australia’s decision to purchase nuclear submarines reviving claims that Australian soldiers are killers who slit the throats of prisoners of war in Afghanistan.

    China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, the same official who sparked international headlines last year when he posted fake, doctored images of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan child on social media, made the fresh comments at a press conference on Friday.

    “During the war in Afghanistan, Australian troops brutally killed prisoners of war and even civilians by shooting or cutting their throats,’’ he said.

    “My colleagues and I have shed light on and condemned the atrocity of the Australian troops many times. The truth has come to light, but justice is still not upheld. These Australian troops remain at large despite their grave war crimes. Afghan lives also matter. The Australian side owes the world an explanation.”

    In November last year, Mr Zhao declared on Twitter he was “shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers.”

    The post was accompanied by an illustration that showed a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of a child who is holding a lamb.

    The child’s face was covered with a blue cloth. The text beneath the photo reads: “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!”

    While that image was doctored, the Brereton Report uncovered credible evidence of 39 alleged murders carried out by Australian Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan.

    It also details an alleged incident reported during an earlier scoping inquiry where two 14-year-old boys had their throats slit. However, the inquiry report does not say if these alleged killings are part of the 39 credible cases.

    In response, the Prime Minister called an unscheduled press conference last year to respond to the image which was posted on an official Chinese Government account over alleged “war crimes” in Afghanistan.

    “The post made today, the repugnant post made today of a falsified image of an Australian soldier threatening a young child with a knife, a post made on an official Chinese government account, posted by the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is truly repugnant,’’ the Prime Minister said.

    “It is deeply offensive to every Australian, every Australian who has served in that uniform, every Australian who serves in that uniform today.”

    But Chinese officials delivered a stinging response to demands for an apology over the shocking faked photograph of an Australian soldier, accusing Australia of “barbarism” and saying the government should feel ashamed.

    The latest furore followed a question to the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman on Australia’s acquisition of nuclear submarines.

    “Yesterday, the Chinese foreign ministry expressed opposition to Australia’s development of nuclear submarines. According to my knowledge, the People’s Liberation Army of China also possesses some nuclear submarines. Does the foreign ministry mean that China will not build any new nuclear-powered submarines in the future?,’’ he was asked.

    “As a non-nuclear weapon state under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a party to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, known as the Treaty of Rarotonga, Australia is now introducing nuclear submarine technology of strategic and military value,’’ the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman responded.

    “The international community, including China, has full reason to question whether Australia is serious about fulfilling its nuclear non-proliferation commitments. Whether China, a nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, will build new nuclear submarines is a completely different issue.”

    He continued, berating Australia’s “grave violation of human rights.”

    “In Australian offshore detention centres, a large number of refugees and migrants have been long held with chronic mental and physical sufferings, and unnatural deaths occur from time to time. Outsourced to private security firms, the detention centres have bad living conditions,’’ he said.

    “The Australian government fails to effectively monitor them and gravely violates the human rights of refugees and migrants.

    “Historically, Australia committed genocide against the Aboriginals and inflicted permanent pain on the ‘stolen generation’ by taking 100,000 Aboriginal children by force from their families. Even today, the average life expectancy of the Aboriginal Australians is 8.2 years shorter than that of white people. The Aboriginals account for 3.3 per cent of the Australian population but 28 per cent of the prisoner population. The Australian Aboriginals are still subjected to serious unfair treatment in living conditions, law enforcement and justice system, among others.”

    Mr Morrison is travelling overseas and is yet to respond to China’s claim.

    Read related topics:China

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