Twitter said it labelled the tweet as “sensitive,” but noted that tweets by official government accounts on topical political issues or “foreign policy sabre-rattling” were usually not in violation of its laws.
The tweet was dubbed “repugnant” by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who held a quarantine virtual press conference to urge Twitter to take it down and apologise to China.
He said the “outrageous and disgusting slur” against the Australian armed forces should make Beijing “totally ashamed.”
For most people in China, Twitter is banned and Beijing has been accused of systematic human rights violations for decades.
Any Australian partners, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, voiced outrage about the tweet.
An picture that is not factually accurate, that is not a true image has been used in this case, so we discussed that directly with the Chinese authorities,” she told reporters.”
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that the job was unworthy of the diplomatic expectations that we have the right to expect from a nation like China.
A spokesman said the photo was an insult to all countries whose armed forces have been involved in Afghanistan for the past 20 years.”
In a limited comment, Kabul said that the suspected corruption of Australian troops was “jointly working” with Canberra to investigate, adding that both Australia and China were “key players” in preserving international consensus on stability and development in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, there was additional humiliation for Australia when the Guardian released an image purporting to show an Australian soldier chugging beer from the prosthetic leg of a dead Taliban warrior.
Australia was accused by a spokeswoman for the Chinese embassy in Canberra of having too much of the incident.
The spokesman said The rage and roar of some Austra-lian politicians and media is nothing but misreading and overreacting to Mr. Zhao’s tweet.”
“The embassy suggested that Australian officials try to deflect media attention from the terrible massacres of some Australian troops” and “resist domestic nationalism.
The diplomatic row has brought relations between Canberra and Beijing plunging to a new low.
In recent months, China has placed a host of trade sanctions on Australian goods, while state-controlled news channels have regularly criticised Australia over a variety of topics.
It comes after Canberra started to fight back on the rising dominance of Beijing in the region, cracked down on Down Under Chinese control operations and called for an impartial inquiry into the source of the pandemic of the coronavirus.