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17 Aug, 2021 08:23

‘Hurried’ withdrawal of US forces created more problems in Afghanistan, China says, calling Washington ‘irresponsible’

‘Hurried’ withdrawal of US forces created more problems in Afghanistan, China says, calling Washington ‘irresponsible’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that the hastened pullout of US forces exacerbated the situation in Afghanistan and should serve as a lesson that attempts to impose “foreign models” on other countries end badly.

The dramatic developments in Afghanistan have “once again proven that it’s difficult to gain a foothold by mechanically applying foreign models to countries with completely different history, culture, and national traditions,” Wang was quoted by the Chinese media as saying.

“Using force and military means to resolve problems will just increase them. The lessons learned from this deserve serious reflection.”

Wang spoke over the phone to his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Monday, a day after the US hastily evacuated its diplomatic personnel from Kabul, which was overrun by the Taliban.

The hurried withdrawal of US troops has had a negative effect on the situation in Afghanistan. If the next step creates new problems, it’s not a responsible attitude.

At the same time, the Chinese diplomat said Beijing is ready to work with the US to bring about stability in Afghanistan.

In a sweeping offensive, the militants captured the majority of Afghan provincial capitals in a little over a week and entered Kabul with little resistance on Sunday, prompting UN-backed President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.

The Taliban’s onslaught intensified after President Joe Biden announced that American troops would leave by August 31, ending their nearly two-decade presence in Afghanistan.

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The Taliban’s victory created panic in Kabul and stunned observers abroad. The chaotic scenes of Afghans desperately rushing to the airport and American military choppers evacuating staffers from the US Embassy building evoked parallels with a similarly dramatic evacuation of Americans from Saigon, South Vietnam in 1975. Both Biden and Blinken fiercely rejected such comparisons.

In a speech on Monday, Biden defended the move to pull American troops from Afghanistan. “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces,” he said. 

The president stressed that the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to fight Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and Washington’s mission has never been about building democracy there. Biden vowed to fight for human rights in Afghanistan, but “not through endless military deployments.”

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