Canada's government has condemned China for a tweet featuring a doctored image of an Australian soldier, adding its voice to international protests about an incident that Ottawa officials say is shocking.
China has rejected Australian calls for an apology after foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted the picture of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child on Monday.
"We were shocked to see the fabricated image posted by a Chinese government official," said Syrine Khoury, a spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
"The dissemination of such inflammatory material and disinformation is beneath the standards of proper diplomatic conduct," she said by email.
Relations between Canada and China have deteriorated over the last two years amid a diplomatic and trade dispute.
The United States, New Zealand, France, and the island of Taiwan had earlier condemned the image, which was posted after Australia said 19 soldiers could be prosecuted over the killings of unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians.
Australian Associated Press