Chinese artist behind fake image of Australian soldier says he’d make more
A Chinese graphic artist who created a doctored image of a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child said he would come up with another one after being “scolded,” according to a report.
Fu Yu, who also is known as Qilin, created the fake image to criticize Australia, whose military recently released a shocking report describing war crimes by elite troops who allegedly killed 39 Afghan civilians, abc.net.au reported.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted the image on Twitter on Monday, prompting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to call it “truly repugnant” and demand an apology.
Fu reacted to Morrison in a video shared by Chinese media on microblog site Weibo, the Australian news outlet reported.
“I get scolded by this Australian person called Morrison, and he demands my apology,” said Fu, who identified himself as the owner of Beijing Wuhe Culture and Creativity Co.
“I feel sympathetic for him and fully understand Morrison’s feelings right now,” he added sarcastically.
Fu, who described his work as an “effort to protect mankind,” also urged Morrison to “make sure his government’s military force becomes more disciplined to avoid any similar international tragedy.”
He added: “He should put less effort on pressuring and condemning a fact-based artwork and an artist who is ordinary and from a foreign country. If I have energy tonight, I can make another artwork as my response.”
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Fu, who has called himself a “wolf-warrior artist,” created the controversial image on Nov. 22, abc.net.au reported, citing China’s state-owned media Global Times.
He said he had a sense of “fury and trembling” after reading reports about elite Australian troops’ “brutal killing of 39 civilians” in Afghanistan, including an unsubstantiated account about how “soldiers cut the throat of two 14-year-old Afghan teenagers with knives.”
The rumored death of the two alleged Taliban sympathizers was not substantiated in the findings of the so-called Brereton report, according to abc.net.au.
“I created this CG illustration based on my anger and shuddering. The artwork was simply created out of a sense of humanitarianism,” Fu wrote for the Global Times.
“I hope that more people will see this painting and pay attention to this real tragedy,” Fu said, adding that he used an Australian flag to cover some bodies of Afghan civilians behind the soldier in the image.