CANBERRA: Diplomats here hope the relationship between Australia and its largest trading partner can now slowly return to normal after a humiliating backdown by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The PM overnight has withdrawn his demand for an unconditional apology from the Chinese leadership over the fake image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
“I also take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for my over-the-top reaction to that interpretive image that does nothing more than highlight the terrible crimes perpetrated by a very, very few bad apples among the countless hundreds of thousands of our military personnel who have served their nation abroad with courage, honour and distinction since federation,” Mr Morrison said.
“Australia is now addressing these very isolated incidents as a free and democratic nation always should, just as I’m sure China would in similar circumstances as a law-abiding and peace-loving nation itself.”
The Bug understands the PM’s stunning about-face and backdown followed intelligence that China had been prepared to ban immediately the export of all flat-pack DIY products to Bunnings’ Australian outlets.
“The PM has a number of weekend projects based on products on Bunnings shelves he wants his official photographer to capture over the coming months as he has not completely ruled out the prospects of a snap early poll in mid-2021 even though he says he has,” an aide explained.
“He had been prepared to tough it out and buy his weekend DIY projects from IKEA until he remembered he’s still having trouble finishing a fairly simple IKEA TV stand he purchased more than 18 months ago for his elder daughter’s bedroom at The Lodge.
“As we all know, the prime minister is not the sharpest allen key in the flat pack.”