China has taken a vicious swipe at the G7 leaders with an eerie cartoon of the West’s ‘last supper’ after Australia received support in its push for a new inquiry into the origin of the Covid-19 virus.
The cartoon, titled ‘the last G7’, is a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper before he was crucified, and depicts the US, UK, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, India and Australia as their national animals plotting to ‘rule the world’.
In the illustration, published by artist ‘Bantonglaoatang’ on Weibo and later republished by the Communist Party mouthpieces including The Global Times, the animals are sitting around a table with a Chinese-map-shaped cake.
The cartoon, which went viral on Chinese social media on Sunday after the world leaders met in Cornwall, UK, for the G7 Summit, depicts the Last Supper of Jesus and his apostles before his crucifixion.
The title of the image reads ‘through this we can still rule the world’ and shows the leaders surrounded by piles of money.
Social media users in China shared the cartoon on Weibo and mocked G7 leaders, with one saying it was ‘perhaps their “last supper”‘.
The fresh propaganda attack comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won key backing from world leaders at the summit, with a multilateral pledge to tackle Chinese economic distortion as well authoritarian crackdowns in Hong Kong.
The Last G7: A cartoon parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper featured in an article by the Communist Party mouthpiece, The Global Times, depicts the US, UK, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, India and Australia as various animals
World leaders at the G7 summit were treated to a glass of Australian shiraz in a not-so-subtle dig against China. Pictured: Boris Johnson (left), Scott Morrison (centre) and Joe Biden (right)
In the cartoon, the US is portrayed as a bald eagle at the centre of the table, while the UK is a lion, Australia a kangaroo, France a rooster, India an elephant, Canada a beaver, Italy a wolf, Japan a dog and Germany a hawk.
The image soon went viral on Chinese social media among Communist Party supporters.
In the satirical cartoon, the kangaroo – representing Australia – reaches across the table to reach the money the US has printing.
‘The kangaroo symbolizes the double-faced Australia which actively cooperates with the US in containing China, but is also eager to earn money from China, its largest trading partner,’ the Global Times said.
The cartoon went viral on Weibo on Sunday, with scores of users praising the artist.
‘But this is perhaps their “last supper”, one user mocked. ‘With different positions, for various interests of their own, these countries and regions can’t form a real league against China.’
The cartoon emerged as the G7 leaders, alongside guest nation leaders from Australia, South Africa and South Africa, issued a joint statement criticising China over a range of issues.
The joint statement was highly critical of China and called on the authoritarian regime to be more transparent about the origins of the Covid pandemic, while also slamming Beijing for its human rights record.
The G7 leaders on Sunday took China to task over human rights in the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang (pictured, Chinese soldiers during a military parade at a training base)
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed ‘the very strong support for the stand that Australia has taken very consistently in standing up for liberal democratic principles in our region’.
But Beijing hit back on Monday by claiming the G7 was ‘slandering’ China.
The G7 leaders on Sunday took China to task over human rights in the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and underscored the importance of peace with Taiwan – all highly sensitive issues for Beijing.
China’s embassy in London said it was strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed mentions of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan that ‘distorted the facts’ and exposed the ‘sinister intentions of a few countries such as the United States’.
The G7 beach BBQ was hosted by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie (pictured, leaders at the event on June 12)
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ranging and the global economy sluggish, the international community needs unity and cooperation of all countries rather than ‘cliquey’ power politics sowing division, the embassy added.
‘China’s internal affairs must not be interfered in, China’s reputation must not be slandered, and China’s interests must not be violated,’ it added.
‘We will resolutely defend our national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and resolutely fight back against all kinds of injustices and infringements imposed on China.’
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday’s statement from G7 was a significant move forward for the group as leaders rallied around the need to ‘counter and compete’ with China on challenges ranging from safeguarding democracy to the technology race.
Scott Morrison (pictured, left) greets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) and his wife Carrie (right) at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on June 12
Although the G7 event is featuring a best-of-British menu including scallops, crab claws, mackerel, barbecued beef sirloin, lobster, leeks and brie, the accompanying vino was from Australia (pictured, G7 leaders at the beach BBQ in Cornwall)
China’s embassy said the G7 should do more that is conducive to promoting international cooperation instead of artificially creating confrontation and friction.
‘We urge the United States and other members of the G7 to respect the facts, understand the situation, stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests,’ the embassy said.
The embassy also said investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic should not be politicised, after the G7 in the same statement demanded a full and thorough probe into how it was developed and spread in China.
The joint expert group on the virus between China and the World Health Organization has been conducting research independently and following WHO procedures, the embassy added.
‘Politicians in the United States and other countries ignore facts and science, openly question and deny the conclusions of the joint expert group report, and make unreasonable accusations against China.’
But Mr Morrison has thrown his support behind a second investigation into the origins of Covid-19 amid growing concern the virus may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan.
The Prime Minister backed US President Joe Biden’s calls for Beijing to agree to a ‘complete and transparent’ international inquiry after a probe by the World Health Organisation failed to reach a conclusion earlier this year.
Mr Morrison has thrown his weight behind a second investigation into the origins of Covid-19 amid growing speculation the virus may have leaked from a lab (pictured) in Wuhan
Mr Morrison has warned that the risk of conflict in the Pacific is growing. Pictured: Chinese troops in Mongolia
After meeting Mr Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Mr Morrison said a second phase of investigations was needed to trace the origins of the pandemic and learn valuable lessons.
Prime Minister Morrison, in a closed-door address, addressed the summit on Sunday emphasising the need to ’embrace a liberal, rules-based order’ against ongoing authoritarianism, The Australian reported.
Canberra’s relationship with Beijing sensationally unraveled in April last year, when Mr Morrison’s government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid pandemic.
The call for transparency outraged Beijing and the authoritarian state targeted an array of Australia exports with arbitrary bans and tariffs as apparent payback.
One of those key sectors hit with a soaring 212 per cent tariff was the $6billion wine industry, which exported 39 percent of all total product to China in 2019.
Barley, cotton, seafood, beef, copper, and coal where among the other industries crippled by the fallout.
How China’s feud with Australia has escalated
2019: Australian intelligence services conclude that China was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in the run-up to a May election.
April 2020: Australian PM Scott Morrison begins canvassing his fellow world leaders for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain and France are initially reluctant but more than 100 countries eventually back an investigation.
April 15: Morrison is one of the few leaders to voice sympathy with Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, which the US president accuses of bias towards China.
April 21: China’s embassy accuses Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton of ‘ignorance and bigotry’ and ‘parroting what those Americans have asserted’ after he called for China to be more transparent about the outbreak.
April 23: Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud calls for G20 nations to campaign against the ‘wet markets’ which are common in China and linked to the earliest coronavirus cases.
April 26: Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye hints at a boycott of Australian wine and beef and says tourists and students might avoid Australia ‘while it’s not so friendly to China’. Canberra dismisses the threat and warns Beijing against ‘economic coercion’.
May 11: China suspends beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors. These account for more than a third of Australia’s $1.1billion beef exports to China.
May 18: The World Health Organization backs a partial investigation into the pandemic, but China says it is a ‘joke’ for Australia to claim credit. The same day, China imposes an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley. Australia says it may challenge this at the WTO.
May 21: China announces new rules for iron ore imports which could allow Australian imports – usually worth $41billion per year – to be singled out for extra bureaucratic checks.
June 5: Beijing warns tourists against travelling to Australia, alleging racism and violence against the Chinese in connection with Covid-19.
June 9: China’s Ministry of Education warns students to think carefully about studying in Australia, similarly citing alleged racist incidents.
June 19: Australia says it is under cyber-attack from a foreign state which government sources say is believed to be China. The attack has been targeting industry, schools, hospitals and government officials, Morrison says.
July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong and offers to extend the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers who are already in Australia over China’s national security law which effectively bans protest.
August 18: China launches 12-month anti-dumping investigation into wines imported from Australia in a major threat to the $6billion industry.
August 26: Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces he will legislate to stop states and territories signing deals with foreign powers that go against Australia’s foreign policy. Analysts said it is aimed at China.
October 13: Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s investigating reports that Chinese customs officials have informally told state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop Aussie coal, leaving it in ships off-shore.
November 2: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud reveals China is holding up Aussie lobster imports by checking them for minerals.
November 3: Barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper imports from Australia unofficially banned under a directive from the government, according to reports.
November 18: China releases bizarre dossier of 14 grievances with Australia.
November 27: Australian coal exports to China have dropped 96 per cent in the first three weeks of November as 82 ships laden with 8.8million tonnes of coal are left floating off Chinese ports where they have been denied entry.
November 28: Beijing imposed a 212 per cent tariff on Australia’s $1.2 billion wine exports, claiming they were being ‘dumped’ or sold at below-cost. The claim is denied by both Australia and Chinese importers.
November 30: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. The move outraged Australians.
December 12: Australian coal is added to a Chinese blacklist.
January 11, 2021: Australia blocks $300million construction deal that would have seen state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation takeover Probuild. The bid was blacked over national security concerns.
February 5, 2021: China confirms Melbourne journalist and single mother Cheng Lei has been formally arrested after being detained in August, 2020.
February 23, 2021: China accuses Australia of being in an ‘axis of white supremacy’ with the UK, USA, Canada and NZ in an editorial.
March 11, 2021: Australia is accused of genocide by a Communist Party newspaper editor.
March 15, 2021: Trade Minister Dan Tehan announced he wants the World Trade Organisation to help mediate discussions between the two countries over the trade dispute.
April 21, 2021: Foreign Minister Marise Payne announces Australia has scrapped Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road deal with China using new veto powers.
May 6, 2021: China indefinitely suspends all strategic economic talks with Australia, blaming the Morrison Government’s attitude towards the relationship. The move cuts off all diplomatic contact with Beijing under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, freezing discussions between key officials below a ministerial level.
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