(CNN)Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has demanded the Chinese government delete a "repugnant" and "falsified image" on Twitter that appears to show an Australian soldier threatening to slit a child's throat.
Australia demands apology after Chinese official tweets 'falsified image' of soldier threatening child
The image, set against a backdrop of the Australian and Afghan flags, was shared on Monday morning Beijing time from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian's verified Twitter account with the caption: "Shocked by the murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers."
The spat is the latest example of souring relations between the two countries, with tensions ramping up despite China being Australia's biggest trading partner.
Morrison said Australia wanted an apology from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had also contacted Twitter asking the social media giant to take the post down.
"It is utterly outrageous and it cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever," he said in a press conference Monday. "The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world's eyes.
"It is a false image and a terrible slur on our great defense forces and the men and women who served in that uniform for over 100 years."
CNN has contacted Twitter for comment.