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Another enemy - China joins the Taliban in using the ADF's admissions against us

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) on Thursday released findings from a four-year inquiry into misconducts by its forces, the BBC reported. It noted there is "credible evidence" that Australian elite soldiers unlawfully killed 39 unarmed people during the Afghan war. 

"Typically, the patrol commander would take a person under control and the junior member… would then be directed to kill the person under control," according to the ADF report. Weapons and radios were allegedly planted to support claims that the victims had been enemies killed in action, BBC said. Such a practice is known as "blooding" for junior soldiers to get their "first kill." Some of the above-mentioned elite soldiers are still in service. 

What has been revealed in the ADF report obviously violated International Law. They are deliberate war crimes. Afghanistan said it was assured by Australia that it was committed to "ensuring justice." However, the report has not amassed enough evidence to start criminal prosecutions against the soldiers involved. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by Australian troops. Morrison also said a special investigator would be appointed to consider prosecutions from information contained in the report, but relevant investigations could take many years. 

Many have condemned the crimes, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, while the families of the victims must be compensated. But from the perspective of legal verdicts, relevant work might not proceed as smoothly as many people hope. 

In June, the Trump administration targeted the International Criminal Court (ICC) with sanctions after the court decided to open an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan carried out by all sides, including the US. 

Australia is a close ally of the US. And Washington is in great need of Canberra in its campaign against Beijing right now. Therefore, the US might cover up for Australia with some investigations. It may also do something under the table to gain more support and deepen its ties with Aussies. However, the investigations will go on. As they do, the international community should join hands to criticize such crimes and put more pressure on the governments of relevant countries in order to promote the investigations and prevent similar misconducts from happening again. 

The US-led Western camp has been upholding the banner of so-called justice with its anti-terrorism wars. The same holds true for their so-called freedom and democracy campaigns in countries like Iraq and Libya. But the results of such "just wars" leave nothing but major messes in those targeted countries. The West's brutal interference in other countries has already become a source of increasing international turbulence. 

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has been behind much of the turmoil and turbulences in many parts of the world - especially the Middle East. It has become the leading troublemaker. Because of Western interventions and manipulations, once peaceful regions have turned turbulent and various local conflicts have been exacerbated, if not initiated outright. The West claims they are maintaining the order, but what they actually do is to make order more chaotic so that they can realize their purpose of dominating regional affairs and maintaining hegemony. As a result, many countries and regions have suffered greatly. Many innocents have been killed. 

The sufferings of Afghanistan and other countries show that nations can only protect their own people by becoming stronger. They also have revealed that West's brutal nature remains unchanged. This wanton behavior needs the world's vigilance. 

Nowadays, with the gradual decline of the West and the rise of developing countries, the influence of Western countries is indeed weakening in certain regions. Yet they have tried every possible means to create more regional troubles to maintain their control. One of the most often used tactics is the application of double standards. 

In the future, with the collective rise of the developing countries and the strengthening of their capabilities, regional affairs should rest in the hands of local countries - not with external powers. This is a better way for developing countries to enhance their prosperity. However, it is obvious that Western countries aren't willing to see this transformation transpire. Therefore, they will keep obstructing developing countries' efforts to improve their governance capabilities and become more independent. This is selfish and unreasonable. 

The author is founding director of the Center for Strategic and Peace Studies at the China Foreign Affairs University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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