Chinese embassy urges Australia to “face up to crimes” committed by soldiers in Afghanistan

A spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Australia on Tuesday urged the Australian side to “face up to the crimes committed by the Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, hold those perpetrators accountable and bring justice to the victims.”

The spokesperson said that secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia made a complaint to Chinese ambassador in Australia on Monday, after Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian wrote a tweet saying: “Shocked by the murder of Afghan civilians &prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, &call for holding them accountable.”

The Chinese ambassador “refuted the unwarranted accusations as absolutely unacceptable,” said the spokesperson.

Noting that Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying has already elaborated China’s position on the issue, the embassy’s spokesperson said, “We would like to further stress the following: the rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and overreaction to Mr. Zhao’s tweet.”

The spokesperson said the accusations were simply to serve two purposes: one is to deflect public attention from “the horrible atrocities by certain Australian soldiers,” and the other is to blame China for the worsening of bilateral ties.

“There may be another attempt to stoke domestic nationalism,” the spokesperson added.

“All of this is obviously not helpful to the resetting of bilateral relationship,” the spokesperson continued.

“We … urge the Australian side face up to the crux of the current setback of bilateral relationship and take constructive practical steps to help bring it back to the right track,” said the spokesperson.