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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a news conference with President Donald Trump at the White House, in Washington, Sept. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).

Why Australia Should Respond to China’s Provocations With Self-Reliance

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020

Australia’s government had a minor meltdown last week, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling an impromptu press conference to demand an apology for a “repugnant” Twitter post by a Chinese government spokesperson that contained a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to an Afghan child’s throat. The image, which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted from his verified account, had a caption that read, “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace.” Zhao’s accompanying text in the Twitter post expressed shock at the death of Afghan civilians and prisoners at Australian hands, calling for accountability.

A week earlier, the Australian government had released the findings of an official inquiry that documented the murders of 39 Afghan civilians or prisoners by Australian special forces soldiers. Known as the Brereton Report, it was the result of a four-and-a-half-year investigation into allegations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. Police investigations into the atrocities described in the report are forthcoming. ...

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