Australia

Chinese diplomat calls for ‘concrete actions’ to repair relations

A Chinese diplomat says the Prime Minister’s reaction to a graphic social media post has spread awareness of Australia’s alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, and insists “concrete actions” must be taken to repair relations with China. Scott Morrison has demanded China apologise for a tweet by a Chinese official, which showed a doctored image of…

A Chinese diplomat says the Prime Minister’s reaction to a graphic social media post has spread awareness of Australia’s alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, and insists “concrete actions” must be taken to repair relations with China.

Scott Morrison has demanded China apologise for a tweet by a Chinese official, which showed a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.

But China’s deputy ambassador to Australia, Wang Xining, said the Brereton report, which outlined the alleged unlawful killings of 39 Afghans by Australian soldiers, had only received more attention in China after the Prime Minister’s reaction.

“Now there is much larger visibility of the Brereton report in China. More people are attentive to what happened in Afghanistan,” Mr Wang told the ABC on Friday.

“People wonder why a national leader would have such a strong opinion to an artwork by a normal, young artist in China.”

Australia has repeatedly tried to restart a dialogue with China but has not had any success.

“Meetings between ministers and even the higher level must be prepared,” Mr Wang said.

“It’s a normal international diplomatic practice.

“We still hope to see concrete actions done by the Australian side to promote favourable atmosphere for stronger collaboration and to bring our relationship back to normal.”

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