The U.S. leaves behind turbulence and destruction whenever its military invades another country, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said in the wake of the unfolding U.S. foreign policy crisis in Afghanistan, China’s neighbor.
The Afghan government fell to Taliban militants within days after the U.S. military was set to withdraw its forces and leave the local U.S.-trained army to take over. This has dented the U.S. image as one of the strongest military forces on the global stage.
In reaction to President Joe Biden’s defense of his decision to withdraw troops from the country, Hua Chunying, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, slammed the U.S. for leaving chaos everywhere it goes.
“Biden said U.S. mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building. It’s true. Wherever U.S. military goes, it leaves behind chaos. Its role lies in destruction, not construction,” Hua said.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a cornerstone of its foreign policy. The goal is to build global networks of infrastructure using Chinese firms and Chinese financing. The initiative is constantly growing in theme and geography, reaching into sectors that include health, agriculture and cyberspace, and extending from Europe and Africa to Asia, the Arctic and space, according to a Washington Post report.
In a speech on Monday, Biden said he stood “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He blamed the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan on Afghan political leaders who fled the country and the unwillingness of the U.S.-trained Afghan army to fight the militant group.
As Afghanistan’s largest neighbor, China has criticized the U.S. invasion that lasted two decades and left more than 100,000 people dead or wounded and millions more displaced.
The U.S. is also planning to fully withdraw its military force from Iraq by the end of 2021. It invaded Iraq in 2003 on the pretext of searching for weapons of mass destruction despite widespread opposition from the international community.
The U.S.-supported Iraq government suffered heavy attacks from militant groups including the Islamic State in 2014.
Other countries that the U.S. has invaded and left in shambles include Libya, which resulted in the collapse of the 42-year-old government, the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and the support accorded to rebel groups by the U.S. in the Syrian Civil War.
Some diplomacy experts, however, say China is capitalizing on the opportunity presented by the Afghanistan crisis to portray the U.S. as “unreliable and untrustworthy”.
“Unsurprisingly, China and its regional proxies are trying to exploit the debacle to portray the US as an unreliable and untrustworthy ally, which rushes to intervene in nations just to disown them at their greatest hour of need.”