Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (Image: AP/Kyodo)

The first rule of dealing with internet trolls is to never get mad. Getting mad is a sign you’ve been owned. And in the brave new world of “shitpost diplomacy”, Australia has been comprehensively owned.

As Crikey has previously explained, a shitpost generally refers to a kind of irony-dense, often edgy tongue-in-cheek tweet or meme designed to inspire a knowing chuckle, or howls of outrage, especially among those who aren’t “extremely online”.

Shitposting was exactly what Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry apparatchik, was doing with his tweet that gloated over the Brereton report and showed a Digger cutting an Afghan child’s throat.