By Rita Li
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan was “a laughingstock,” during a daily press conference on Aug. 19, as part of Beijing’s propaganda campaign to leverage the crisis to attack the United States.
Islamist terrorist group Taliban swept across Afghanistan and took over the capital Kabul as the U.S. troops withdrew from where the forces had been stationed since 2001.
Although the evacuation marks an end to the years of U.S. casualties in the Middle Eastern country, the decision has come under harsh criticism—and China seized the opportunity to put up the pressure.
In response to a reporter’s remark about “China is laughing at the U.S.” during the conference, spokesperson Hua said, “Isn’t this a laughingstock in itself?”
Hua said that some U.S. media and individuals “habitually” take every opportunity to shift blame, suggesting that the United States has failed Afghanistan.
“As to whether the United States’ Afghanistan policy is a failure and whether U.S. allies still think it is reliable and credible, people have their fair judgment,” she said.
Meanwhile, China’s state-run media and diplomats have also been working on a prospective friendship with the Taliban.
The same day, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the international community should respect Afghanistan’s independence and the will of its people, according to the foreign ministry statement.
China consistently objects to foreign criticism of its own system and rejects international pressure from other countries as interference.
In a call with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Wang said the world should support Afghanistan as it transitions to a new government.
China has not officially recognized the Taliban as the new rulers. But Wang hosted a delegation of Taliban representatives in the port city of Tianjin in late July, about a month prior to the scheduled U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Beijing’s mouthpiece Global Times, wrote on Aug. 15. on Twitter, “No matter who is in power, we’re ready to be Afghanistan’s friend.”