In a direct appeal to Chinese society, Morrison promoted Australia as “a free, democratic, and free country” and explained that a formal investigation was underway into allegations made by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
China’s social media platform WeChat has canceled a post posted by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accusing him of public fraud, as communication between the two countries does not indicate any signs of freedom.
In a direct appeal to Chinese society, Morrison promoted Australia as “a free, democratic, and free country” and explained that a formal investigation was underway into allegations made by Australian troops in Afghanistan. The post was removed in order to use “misleading words” in order to “distort historical events and deceive the public,” according to a message displayed locally.
Both China and Australia have been on social media in recent days as tensions between the two countries have risen. Morrison angrily sought public apology earlier this week after a Beijing strategist posted on twitter a fake photo showing an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Thursday said WeChat’s action was “unnecessary.”
While emphasizing the importance of trade relations with China, he said Australia would not provide a list of Chinese complaints to the government. From Australia they intervened in domestic affairs in Hong Kong to call for an investigation into the outbreak of coronavirus.
Australia “will not allow those,” Frydenberg said. “They go to the heart of who we are. Our national identity, free press, democratically elected parliament and we clearly support our national interest when it comes to things like foreign investment. ”
Morrison created his own WeChat public account in February 2019, becoming one of the few state heads present in China’s largest social network with 1 billion users. Since then he has regularly posted in Chinese to communicate with his government policies. During last year’s Australian general election, leaders of major political parties took the stage and held question and answer sessions with Chinese and Australian voters.
Like all media in China, WeChat is working with the Beijing government to process sensitive content. Chinese microblogging site Weibo Corp., a popular platform for foreign government leaders and politicians, has a history of blocking or removing posts from humanitarian topics ranging from human rights to stock market fraud, according to a 2018 report by the Australian Strategic Policy Center.
WeChat operator Tencent Holdings Ltd. he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Relations between major trade partners have been strained since 2018 when Canberra blocked Huawei Technologies Co from building its 5G network and introduced foreign interference laws aimed at stopping Beijing’s “interference” in domestic affairs. The relationship has been in deep fray since April, when the Morrison government called for independent investigators to enter Wuhan to investigate the origin of the coronavirus.
The chain of assets since then has been targeted at prices or restrictions on what Canberra claims is similar to “economic coercion.”