China Tells U.S. to Stop Peddling Its Values to the World After Afghanistan Failure

China told the United States to reflect on the words of Russia's Vladimir Putin on Thursday and stop peddling American ideology and values to the rest of the world following the debacle of Afghanistan.

The Russian president said that U.S. attempts to "civilize" Afghan citizens by introducing American norms and standards into their politics and way of life ended in "sheer tragedies, sheer losses" for both sides and achieved a "zero result, if not negative."

"President Putin's view should provoke some reflection in the U.S.," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference in Beijing.

He repeated a recently popular line out of Beijing, suggesting the West's description of democracy wasn't the only working definition in the world. Chinese leaders have sought to promote the country's own version of democracy and human rights as an alternative.

"There isn't one fixed form of democracy in the world," said Wang. "Every country is entitled to independently explore paths of development that suit their national conditions and realities." The example of Afghanistan, he added, shows that attempts to "transplant" and force a democratic model on others will only "create chaos and instability, ultimately resulting in failure."

Wang said democracy: "Is not a patent held by select countries. There is no 'leader of democracy' in the world, nor does any country have the right to lecture others on democracy," he added.

The official described the concepts of "an alliance of democracies" and "democracy versus authoritarianism" as "hegemony in disguise."

"We hope the U.S. earnestly reflects upon the lessons learned and stops peddling its own ideology and values to others," he said.

China Tells U.S. To Reflect On Afghanistan
Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit ride a vehicle on the runway of the airport in Kabul on August 31, 2021, after the U.S. pulled all its troops out of the country to end a 20-year war. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Following the end of the U.S. evacuation effort in Kabul, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday and gave his verdict on ending the longest war in American history. He told Americans to remember why the country went to war in Afghanistan in the first place and said the original objective had been achieved.

The president said the assumption that 300,000 American-trained and equipped Afghan National Security Forces could hold off the Taliban "turned out not to be accurate." He had to follow through on the Trump administration's commitment to leave the country, Biden added, "or say we weren't leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war."

"That was the choice—the real choice—between leaving or escalating," Biden said. "I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit."

Avoiding Attack on Homeland

Biden said: "To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask: What is the vital national interest? In my view, we only have one: to make sure Afghanistan can never be used again to launch an attack on our homeland.

"Remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place? Because we were attacked by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001, and they were based in Afghanistan. We delivered justice to bin Laden on May 2, 2011—over a decade ago. Al Qaeda was decimated.

"I respectfully suggest you ask yourself this question: If we had been attacked on September 11, 2001, from Yemen instead of Afghanistan, would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan even though the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in 2001? I believe the honest answer is 'no.'

"That's because we had no vital national interest in Afghanistan other than to prevent an attack on America's homeland and our friends. And that's true today. We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. Then we stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war."

China Tells U.S. To Reflect On Afghanistan
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the end of the war in Afghanistan in the State Dining Room at the White House on August 31, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images