Beijing threatens ‘lasting punishment’
Beijing has warned Australia that it faces "lasting punishment" over a call to boycott Chinese-made products, led by Pauline Hanson.
The One Nation leader this week said a ban on the importation of goods produced in the country should be implemented, amid the continuing fallout over a fake image of an Australian soldier shared by a top Communist Party official on Twitter.
In an editorial in Beijing's English-language mouthpiece The Global Times, Senator Hanson was told she can dish out all the trade threats she likes but she may not be able to handle the "lasting punishment".
The latest stinging remarks come after the social media giant WeChat censored Prime Minister Scott Morrison's post, which was a direct appeal to millions of Chinese users on the app.
The material published on the PM's official account was deleted overnight, his office confirmed.
A message from WeChat now states that the content "involves the use of inciting, misleading, or contrary to objective facts, text, pictures, videos, etc., fabricate social hot spots, distort historical events, and confuse the public."
Meanwhile, Twitter has refused Australia's request to remove the original offending image - a doctored piece of "art" depicting a grinning Australian soldier crouching on an Afghan flag and an Australian flag, holding a knife to the throat of a child.
In his now-censored WeChat post, the PM insisted on Tuesday that the incendiary image would not diminish Australia's respect for the Chinese community at home or abroad.
"The post of a false image of an Australian soldier does not diminish our respect for and appreciation of our Chinese Australian community or indeed our friendship with the people of China,'' he wrote.
Tencent, the parent company that owns WeChat, was the subject of US President Donald Trump's recent executive order, which demands US firms stop doing business with it.
China's state-controlled media this week urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to "kneel down on the ground and slap himself in the face" over alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
In its new editorial in The Global Times, China warned Australia will be punished over Senator Hanson's call for a boycott of products made in the country.
"Pauline Hanson, leader of Australia's far-right party One Nation, on Monday called for Australians to boycott Chinese products this Christmas. She and her ilk behave not even like a paper tiger, but a hysterical paper cat,'' it states.
"We would like to tell Australian politicians like Hanson that they have over-estimated Australia's importance toward China, and have mistaken the fact that Australia relies on China more in their win-win co-operation. We don't want to insult Australia and its people, but we do despise extreme politicians like Hanson.
"There is no reason for China to continue appeasement toward Australia.
"Chinese society strongly advocates resolute and lasting punishments against Australia and to let the world see clearly - one will eventually pay a price for taking the US side and requiting kindness with ingratitude toward China."
Originally published as Beijing threatens 'lasting punishment'