Chinese artist takes aim at Scott Morrison in confronting new image
Chinese artist Wuheqilin, who created the provocative fake Australian soldier image, has been true to his word and created another artwork depicting Australia’s alleged war crimes.
The renowned ‘wolf warrior’ style artist, took to his Weibo account on Tuesday evening to share his latest creation, featuring a disheveled-looking Scott Morrison pulling an Australian flag over the dead bodies of Afghan civilians.
In the work, an emotional Mr Morrison can be seen pointing at a child artist, likely meant to be Wuheqilin himself, and demanding he apologise, as per the text at the bottom of the artwork.
In front of the child is an easel with a red-stained canvas and behind that, dozens of reporters aiming their camera lenses at the boy rather than casting their attention to what Morrison is doing.
Behind them all, soldiers fire guns amid a smoky desert setting.
On Monday, hours after his image of an Australian solder slitting the throat of an Afghan child sparked outrage in Australia, Wuheqilin recorded a video message for Mr Morrison, telling him to “face reality” and vowed to create another artwork.
His latest artwork published to his 900,000 plus Weibo followers is simply captioned: “To Morrison”.
The patriotic artist’s first Australian-related artwork came to the attention of Mr Morrison after it was tweeted by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, a renowned player in China’s ever-growing wolf warrior diplomacy.
While his latest artwork has not received the same treatment from a Communist Party of China official, Chinese state media publication the Global Times, often referred to as the CPC’s English-language mouthpiece, shared the image on their site.
Scott Morrison takes to Chinese app WeChat
While Mr Morrison has yet to respond publicly to the latest artwork, he called Wuheqilin’s first image “repugnant”.
The prime minister will likely think long and hard over his response, following the uproar from Beijing and Chinese state media over his calls for an unlikely apology.
Mr Morrison has reportedly spoken to his government to ensure the latest feud isn’t amplified further, according to the ABC.
While the Morrison government and the Opposition have been unified in their response to the image, Labor Senator Penny Wong called for a “calm and strategic” response to China’s amplified attacks.
She said an “emotional” response was not needed, one which some experts say Mr Morrison failed to do, playing into the hands of the Chinese.
It comes as he took to popular Chinese social media and messaging app WeChat with an olive branch to Chinese users.
“The post of a false image of an Australian soldier does not diminish our respect for and appreciation of our Chinese Australian community or indeed our friendship with the people of China,” he said.
He stressed his “pride” in all Australians who serve the nation and stressed he was committed to an honest and transparent investigation into the alleged war crimes which the Brereton report says allegedly led to the death of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.
“That is what a free, democratic, liberal country does.”
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