Chinese State Media Says Afghanistan a Lesson for Taiwan on How U.S. Abandons Allies

The Global Times, a tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, warned Taiwan on Monday it could face the same fate as Afghanistan if it continued relying on the United States as an ally.

Taiwan President Addresses Troops
A China state-run paper warned Taiwan that it could face the same fate as Afghanistan if it relied too much on the U.S. for support. In this photo, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen addresses soldiers amid the COVID-19 pandemic during her visit to a military base in Tainan, southern Taiwan, on April 9, 2020. Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images

The paper's editorial began by describing how the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan caused the Taliban's forces to quickly seize control in what it deemed "a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the U.S."

The Times then cited what it called similar situations, such as the fall of Saigon during the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 when the U.S. evacuated its citizens from the city. The tabloid also wrote of how the U.S. "abandoned their allies, the Kurds," when it withdrew troops from northern Syria in 2019.

"Some historians also point out that abandoning allies to protect U.S. interests is an inherent flaw that has been deeply rooted in the U.S. since the founding of the country," the editorial contended before claiming America betrayed France soon after the latter aided the original colonies in gaining independence from Britain in the Revolutionary War.

Taiwan is similar to Afghanistan in that it has sought support from the U.S., the Global Times claimed, adding "Taiwan is the region that relies on the protection of the U.S. the most in Asia, and the island's Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] authorities have made Taiwan go further and further down this abnormal path."

The situation in Afghanistan spiraled quickly out of control "after the country was abandoned by the U.S." The paper asked, "Is this some kind of omen of Taiwan's future fate?"

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and other members of the DPP have not fully acknowledged the severity of the circumstances in Afghanistan, the editorial warned. "They must have known better in secret that the U.S. is not reliable."

The reason for the U.S. to be interested in relations with Taiwan is strategic as well as monetary, the Global Times continued. The island "is probably the U.S.' most cost-effective ally in East Asia. There is no U.S. military presence on the island of Taiwan." America's alliance is thus kept by selling arms to Taiwan, all the while encouraging the island to "implement anti-mainland policies through political support and manipulation. As a result, it has caused a certain degree of depletion between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits."

Aside from sending warships and aircraft around the island on occasion, the U.S. for the most part doesn't need to spend much money on its ally. "Instead, it makes money through arms sales and forced pork and beef sales to the island. This is totally a profitable geopolitical deal for Washington," the Times said.

The article concluded by giving some advice to Taiwan's leaders: "They need to change their course of bonding themselves to the anti-Chinese mainland chariot of the U.S."