A doctored photo of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of a child published by a Chinese foreign ministry official is propaganda the likes of which hasn’t been seen “from totalitarian regimes for decades,” according to Dennis Shanahan.
The doctored image – which has not been censored by Twitter despite being faked – were published by China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian who said he was “shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers”.
“The image, of course, is disgusting; it’s fake news,” Mr Shanahan told Sky News.
“This isn’t some sort of hidden cyber campaign China is conducting without its name attached to it. This isn’t some tame news outlet in China letting people know about the propaganda line.
“This is official spokesman of the Chinese government espousing a propaganda style which we haven’t seen from totalitarian regimes for decades.
“It is outmoded, it is old fashioned, and it’s normally used to create fear and concern within people’s own communities within totalitarian regimes’ own communities.”