America's strength is destruction, not construction: China on Afghanistan crisis
China on Tuesday fired a fresh salvo at the United States, blaming it for the chaos that engulfed Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the country. During a regular press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry official Hua Chunying said, "America's strength and role is destruction, not construction." This came a day after Beijing signalled its willingness to cooperate with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
China on Tuesday accused the US of leaving "an awful mess of unrest, division, and broken families" in Afghanistan. China shares a 76-kilometer-long border with Afghanistan and is looking to avoid it being used as a base for Uighur Islamic militants. Hua urged the Taliban regime to "make a clean break with international forces" and "prevent Afghanistan from becoming a gathering place for terrorists."
A top-level Taliban delegation had met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last month, promising that the group will not host Uighur Islamic militants from China's Xinjiang province. In exchange, China offered economic support and investment for Afghanistan's reconstruction.
On Monday, China's Foreign Ministry said that it "welcomed" the chance to deepen ties with Afghanistan. "The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China's participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan," it said. China also said that it is "willing" to develop friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan.
While China criticized America's hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as a leadership failure, United States President Joe Biden on Monday defended the withdrawal. Blaming the Afghan forces for their lack of willingness to fight, Biden maintained that there was "never a good time to withdraw US forces." However, he conceded that chaos escalated far more quickly than anticipated.
The US is also facing criticism within the country over its disorganized withdrawal of troops. Former CIA analyst and Afghanistan war veteran Matt Zeller has criticized the US administration for not having a concrete plan to evacuate Afghans trying to flee the Taliban's rule.
The military victory of the Taliban came after the United States' decision to withdraw troops from the country after fighting a war for almost two decades. The Taliban and Washington signed a peace deal last year, under which the US decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. However, the US has now been rendered clueless by the rapid collapse of the Afghan government.