The government has protested to both the Chinese embassy in Australia and through the Australian embassy in Beijing.
Despite the sickening propaganda, Mr Morrison said the “awful incident” should prompt a reset in relations and new dialogue between Beijing and Canberra.
Emphasising Australia’s democratic principles, Mr Morrison said few countries had been as willing as Australia had when faced with allegations of war crimes.
“The alleged actions of a few, do not define the tremendous service of a great many,” he said.
Scott Morrison has called for a reset in Australia-China relations after China’s Foreign Ministry posted a fake image of an Australian soldier cutting the throat of a young boy. Alex Ellinghausen
Referring to the recent investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Australian special forces, the ministrys chief mouthpiece Lijian Zhao posted on Twitter the doctored image.
“Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable,” the tweet said.
The doctored photo shows a soldier crouching and clutching a bloodied knife against the throat of a young boy who is holding a lamb. The boy’s face is shrouded by the edge of an Australian flag.
The photo is captioned “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace”.
Mr Zhao, at the ministry’s regular daily press conference on Friday, was asked about the Brereton report into war crimes and said there should be a thorough investigation to “bring the culprits to justice”.
“Australia and some other western countries always portray themselves as human rights defenders and wantonly criticise other countries’ human rights conditions,” he said.
“The facts revealed by this report fully exposed the hypocrisy of the “human rights” and “freedom” these western countries are always chanting.”
The report found Australian soldiers may have murdered 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians. In response, 19 soldiers have been referred to a new special investigator for war crimes.
Australia has been a strong critic on human rights violations committed by China’s communist regime, including the mass detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang in what human rights campaigners have labelled genocide.
More to come.