- One of Joe Biden’s senior advisers has declared that the United States will stand with Australia as China-Australia relations continue to sour
- Jake Sullivan, who is Joe Biden’s pick as National Security Advisor, said the U.S. will stand “should-to-shoulder” with Australia to advance their shared values
- The comment comes after a Chinese government official tweeted a fake image of an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child
- The tweet brought harsh criticism on China and on Twitter, which has so far refused to remove the image
- On top of this, China slammed massive tariffs on Australia wine imports over the weekend
- Several U.S. officials have blasted China’s actions, and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) has urged millions of people to buy Australian wine this December to stand up to China
- Nevertheless, China has doubled down on its decisions, calling Scott Morrison arrogant for demanding the fake image tweeted by the official be taken down
One of Joe Biden’s senior advisers has declared that the United States will stand with Australia as China-Australia relations continue to sour.
This week has been fraught with international tension after a Chinese government official tweeted a fake image of an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child.
The image, which has been slammed as “repugnant” by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was published in response to the recent Brereton war crimes report. Twitter has refused to take the fake image down after more than four days.
The tweet came not long after China slapped massive tariffs on Australian wine imports, dealing a “devastating blow” to Aussie winemakers, according to Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.
Now, Joe Biden’s pick for National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, has joined the throng of international voices speaking out in support of Australia.
“The Australian people have made great sacrifices to protect freedom and democracy around the world,” Jake said on Twitter.
The Australian people have made great sacrifices to protect freedom and democracy around the world. As we have for a century, America will stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Australia and rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity, and values.— Jake Sullivan (@jakejsullivan) December 2, 2020
“As we have for a century, America will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ally Australia and rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity, and values,” he continued.
The tweet comes a day after U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Cale Brown blasted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the fabricated image.
“We stand with our Australian partners in calling out @MFA_China for spreading disinformation by fabricating an image of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan,” Cale said on Twitter.
“The CCP’s latest attack on Australia is another example of its unchecked use of disinformation and coercive diplomacy. Its hypocrisy is obvious to us all,” he said.
“While it doctors images on Twitter to attack other nations, the CCP prevents its own citizens from reading their posts,” he continued.
The State Department spokesperson went on to accused China of covering up horrendous human rights abuse throughout its own country.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio has written to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to complain about Twitter’s refusal to remove the provocative image.
Support for Aussie wine
On top of the global outrage over the doctored image and Twitter’s refusal to remove it, politicians around the world have come forward this week to support the Australian wine industry.
A campaign was launched this week by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), which is made up of more than 200 members of parliament from over 19 countries, urging their constituents to drink Australian wine over December.
The move is designed to offset the hefty tariffs put into place over the weekend and stand up to Chinese “authoritarian bullying”.
China doubling down
Despite the global backlash, China is defending the fake image posted to Twitter.
The global times, a tabloid paper that acts as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, claims the image is nothing more than a “political cartoon”; an artistic exaggeration.
The Global Times has called Scott Morrison arrogant for demanding the tweet be removed, calling the reaction “radical”.
“Generally speaking, China is quite cautious and takes into consideration the feelings of the U.S. and its allies in rhetoric. But why do Chinese officials have to mind their words each and every time and prioritize the feelings of the other side?” the Global Times said late last night.
“Given the increasingly hostile and radical attitude toward China by countries like the U.S. and Australia, Chinese officials might as well go straightforward and hit their sore spots,” it stated.
China is yet to comment on the global rally to buy Australian wine.