(This Editorial was reproduced in the English language Global Times under the title “Afghanistan mirrors US evil acts, contrasting China’s goodwill”. The English version is reproduced below, p[ending translation of the Chinese original.)
The sudden withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has met with a lot of domestic opposition. In many people’s view, the so-called withdrawal shows that the US cannot hold on to fight in Afghanistan anymore. The US has failed, and it was forced to flee in a hurry.When the US launched the Afghan War 20 years ago, it was full of confidence and was determined to win. But soon, the US found that it was stuck in a quagmire, repeatedly adjusting its war goals. US troops were facing the Taliban, which has almost no foreign aid. But at the cost of more than 1 trillion US dollars and more than 2,000 American soldiers’ lives, the US just could not handle it. The Taliban mainly relied on its own strength to achieve a similar ending like the Vietnam War. This is a portrayal of the current decline in the US’ national strength.
The US’ Iraq War eventually led to a pro-Iran regime, but Afghanistan’s future is uncertain. The US seems to be particularly fond of wars, but it has left an unfinished messy project in almost every war. Now the Taliban sees Washington as an enemy, and the Afghan government sees it as a selfish escapee. All of Washington’s preaching of the so-called victory of this war is to flatter itself.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen on Wednesday said China is a “friend” to Afghanistan and is hoping to talk to Beijing about investing in reconstruction work. “People from other countries who want to use Afghanistan as a site [to launch attacks] against other countries, we have made a commitment that we will not allow them, whether it’s an individual or entity against any country including China,” he said. These remarks have attracted the attention of many Chinese people.
After 20 years of war and turmoil, the Afghan government and the Taliban both regard China as a friend. It can be said with certainty that the whole of Afghanistan regards China as a friend. This provides a good foundation for China to play a positive role in Afghanistan’s situation in the future.
However, we believe that China will use its influence very carefully. China will not go to Afghanistan to fill the vacuum left by the US troops’ withdrawal. The US forcibly invaded Afghanistan and once ambitiously tried to transform it and lead the country’s reshaping. China’s positioning as a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan will not change, nor will it change the basic principle of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. We will only provide necessary help within our capabilities, and we will never dominate Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has its inherent interest pattern and cultural traditions and is widely regarded as the “graveyard of empires.” Over the past more than 40 years, the former Soviet Union and the US both suffered a failure in the country. China will never enter Afghanistan their way, and this will ensure that China will never become the “third” country after the Soviet Union and the US.
Advocacy of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is not an empty slogan of China, but a true motto for China’s handling of complicated international issues. Because it fits international reality and is the greatest common interest of most countries. Thus, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have effectively guided China’s diplomacy, and have enabled us to skillfully deal with even some of the most difficult problems.
The stability of Afghanistan bears major interests and concerns for China. We are definitely willing to help Afghanistan achieve peace and stability as soon as possible, and make every effort to promote talks and peace. Once the situation in Afghanistan allows Chinese companies to invest in the country, both Chinese state-owned and private capital will be very active. Many of China’s neighboring countries have formed close economic and trade relations with China, and Afghanistan will be no exception in the long run.
The pain that the US brought to Afghanistan will come to an end, and a new page is unfolding in the country. It is still uncertain whether there will be a civil war or a reconciliation in Afghanistan, and it is also uncertain what will bring the country together from a mess. But China will always be Afghanistan’s benevolent neighbor ready to help. We only inject positive energy into Afghanistan and will never go there to cause tragedy.
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