On Sunday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, posted a digitally altered image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child. Unsurprisingly, Australia reacted furiously, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling the tweet “truly repugnant” and demanding an apology. But China’s embassy in Australia said there has been a terrible misunderstanding. “The rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and overreaction to Mr Zhao’s tweet,” the Chinese embassy in Canberra said. The tweet appeared to refer to a report into war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan, which found 39 unarmed people were unlawfully killed. Australia has said 19 soldiers will be referred for possible criminal prosecution.