A screenshot of Scott Morrison's WeChat message (left) with an image created and shared by artist Wuheqilin (Images: WeChat)

Scott Morrison has gone straight to the Chinese people using the WeChat messaging service to explain Australia’s approach to war crimes, defend the nation’s honour, and restate its ongoing respect for Chinese people.

As at noon today, his message had been viewed 54,000 times, garnering 1788 likes. There’s been no official government response. But plenty of Chinese WeChat users have responded.

Australian academic Dr Luxin Liu translated for Crikey. Here is a selection with the user name first in bold.

Big Mouth

The dignity of Chinese people come from the rise of China. The Chinese government is always the strongest backup for the overseas Chinese. Trust our motherland! Trust our wolf warrior! Be a Chinese!


We support Australian prime minister! The best way to deal with the rogue country is to decouple.

Interesting Soul

Maybe Morrison is too sensitive! Too sensitive!! Too sensitive!!!

Song Hao

I want to add to Morrison’s WeChat!


The prime minister was cheated and trapped. The best way to deal with this is to ignore it!


Not many people in China noticed that Twitter until Morrison talked about it publicly. More people noticed after his Chinese WeChat. It’s actually quite a normal Twitter for Zhao Lijian. Don’t worry about it! Leave it!


You admitted the murder of innocents first. Other people condemned it second. Why should you feel ashamed? Totally confused!


He is anxious, anxious, anxious!

Chuyin. W

Our country has found more and more evil tricks in recent years!


This has nothing to do with values! Your army went to others’ country, killed the innocents and the kids. You arrogant white people have done something wrong, and did not let others to say a few words? Why?


It is Australia that should apologise to the people of Afghanistan and the world!

FLV.11 Max

China is not “to kill the chicken as a warning to the monkey”. It is to tell the world: “You give me an inch, I’ll give you a foot.” Morrison needs to learn. He was trapped!


Trump posted a lot of nonsense, every day. You said nothing about it. Zhao Lijian posted a simple Twitter, which was based on the facts, Australian politicians jumped on it, and their Five Eye alliance. It’s glass heart!


Personally I think the best response the Australian PM can give is to have a thorough investigation, and to deal with it legally. Just ask for an apology in a rush. It’s childish!


It shows the naked arrogance of Australia when facing China. It’s obvious they have double standards when handling the human rights issues.


Australian prime minister made a big fuss, made it a hot topic on the world stage. His purpose was: to move people’s attention away from his army’s atrocity in Afghanistan; to blame China on the deterioration of the relationship between the two countries; and to fan some nationalism in Australia.


As for Morrison’s talk and WeChat message [about the doctored photo], only the Foreign Affairs Ministry and some ordinary patriotic netizens are fighting Morrison. The majority of other “mainstream” state media (in China) are staying silent, or trying to avoid it, or trying to ignore it. Seems it has nothing to do with them!


They only know to follow the US. The so-called universal values is hypocritical! They should now devote themselves to prepare for the coming bushfire. Don’t play these tricks!


It is truth. Australian soldiers killed more than 30 Afghan civilians! Share on Australia!


They killed two kids. Only one in the picture. It’s fabricated!


I understood you’re angry. But no apology! That’s it.


An interview with the author of the picture after Morrison WeChat, with a title:

“Mr Morrison, what your solders had done is more cruel than my picture … Australian prime minister Morrison is very angry with my picture. Even now I still think it is unbelievable. Morrison … so agitated with my picture, even organised a press conference specifically for this matter and accused this picture. It is unbelievable! … Morrison should feel ashamed for his soldiers who committed atrocity in Afghanistan … I made this picture on the night of 22 November. After watching that news, Australian soldiers killed 39 Afghanistan people, and two 14-year-old teens [had their throats] cut. I was angry, was shuddered, and started the painting right away.”

Global Times, 8.30am, December 2, 2020

This is the newest response from state media:

Australian prime minister backs down. He told his colleagues, “Our work is focusing on establishing dialogue that allows us to steadily work through issues as governments”… “doesn’t need any further amplification”; “don’t fan further tensions …”

Luxin Liu is an Australian academic.