China Blasts U.S. as Source of Afghanistan's Problems Amid Troop Drawdown

Chinese officials accused the United States military of creating far more problems abroad than they have helped to solve, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday ridiculing Washington's decision to finalize a "safe and orderly exit" from Afghanistan.

Wang said that the U.S. is "the source" of some of the world stage's worst ongoing conflicts, even as President Joe Biden ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11. Biden's move to finalize the withdrawal has been criticized by some GOP lawmakers who say it will destabilize the region. However, the White House has reiterated the necessity of ending the longest war in U.S. history.

Wang joined several Beijing officials in blasting Biden's "Indo-Pacific strategy" and American foreign policy altogether, saying the U.S. created and worsened the problems in Afghanistan and the military should be careful as it withdraws from the region. He remarked the U.S. still has a "cold war mentality," which has soured its relationship with Beijing as well as Moscow.

"The U.S., as the origin of problems in Afghanistan, should be responsible for making sure the transition in the country will be stable. The U.S. cannot evade responsibility, and cannot cause instability or war by withdrawing troops," Wang said Saturday.

"As friendly neighbors that share the flow of mountain ranges and rivers, China is determined to support the peaceful transition in Afghanistan," he continued, adding that the U.S. should stop pretending to be a "defender" of the Afghan people.

Wang said Beijing remains committed to ongoing "peaceful dialogue" with Washington, but warned against "military threats and putting pressure on North Korea."

China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, spoke Tuesday at the U.N.'s High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism, a summit created 15 years ago after the start of the American "war on terror."

"Despite the significant progress made in international counter-terrorism cooperation, the world remains confronted with tangible threats of terrorism," Zhang said. "ISIS is very active in Iraq and Syria, and the withdrawal of foreign troops has led to a sharp deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan, with terrorist forces such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement waxing strong and wreaking havoc."

Numerous Republicans have criticized the White House and Pentagon leaders for the exit of the final troops from Bagram Air Base. American military forces handed over the base to Afghan troops Friday.

Newsweek reached out to Chinese representatives to the United Nations Saturday afternoon for any additional remarks about the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan soldiers in Bagram
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the U.S. is "the source" of some of the world stage's worst ongoing conflicts, including Afghanistan. In this pic, Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard at a road checkpoint near a US military base in Bagram, some 30 miles north of Kabul on July 1, 2021. Wakir Kohsar/Getty