Canada condemns China for doctored tweet of Australian soldier

OTTAWA, Dec 3 (Reuters)Canada on Thursday condemned China for tweeting a doctored picture of an Australian soldier, adding its voice to international protests about an incident Ottawa said was stunning.

China has turned down Canberra’s calls for an apology just after international ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted the photo of an Australian soldier keeping a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan kid on Monday.

“We have been shocked to see the fabricated picture posted by a Chinese federal government formal,” said Syrine Khoury, a spokeswoman for Overseas Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

“The dissemination of these types of inflammatory content and disinformation is beneath the benchmarks of suitable diplomatic perform,” she reported by e-mail.

Relations concerning Canada and China have deteriorated over the last two decades amid a diplomatic and trade dispute.

The United States, New Zealand, France, and the island of Taiwan had previously condemned the image, which Beijing printed soon after Australia reported 19 soldiers could be prosecuted around the killings of unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren Modifying by Alexandra Hudson)

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