Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Beijing Youth Daily: According to media reports, the US troops pulled out of the Bagram Airfield overnight without a heads up. The sudden departure made it difficult for the Afghan government to take over the facility and led to the loss of numerous items. The battlefield in Afghanistan has gone out of hand after the withdrawal of US troops. The irresponsible approach of the US has been criticized in Afghanistan and the international community. Do you have a comment?
Wang Wenbin: As so many facts have proven, between the morally right thing to do in the world and selfish interests, the US always chooses the latter. The US has been trying to force its so-called freedom and democracy on others and push for regime changes around the world. This has led to conflict, war, terrorism, refugees, among other complications that still persist today. The US, in disregard of its responsibilities and obligations, hastily withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving a mess and turmoil to the Afghan people and regional countries. This further exposed the hypocritical face of the US under the cover of “defending democracy and human rights”.
As a friendly close neighbor of Afghanistan, China always supports the Afghan people in safeguarding their national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and taking national destiny into their own hands. China always follows the “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led” principle and strives to promote the political settlement of the Afghan issue. We stand ready to work together with the international community and regional countries to advance the peace and reconciliation process and help Afghanistan realize peace and stability at an early date.
Bloomberg: I just want to follow up on your comments on the Afghanistan withdrawal. In an earlier question on that, you said that the US had made a hasty withdrawal, and now you said that the US rushed to withdrawal its troops and left the people there in a mess. Are you saying that the US should have left the soldiers in Afghanistan for a longer period of time?
Wang Wenbin: I’m afraid you didn’t get our position right. Our position is consistent and clear. As the culprit that created the Afghan issue, the US cannot shirk its responsibility for the current situation. It should earnestly assume its due responsibility in such areas as Afghanistan’s security, development and humanitarian needs, honor its commitment, ensure a smooth transition in Afghanistan, make sure the withdrawal doesn’t lead to turbulence and fighting, and make sure Afghanistan won’t become a powder keg in the region and a safe haven for terrorism again. This is our clear position.
Bloomberg: I just want to follow up on my question on Afghanistan. You said that the US should honor its commitment and ensure there’s a peaceful transfer and that Afghanistan doesn’t become a safe haven for terrorism. Can you explain what you mean specifically by that?
Wang Wenbin: I don’t see a need for further explanation here either. The US should earnestly fulfill its due responsibilities and honor its commitment. It needs to ensure a smooth transition in Afghanistan, make sure the withdrawal doesn’t lead to turbulence and fighting, and prevent a resurgence of terrorism in the country. I believe this is what regional countries and the whole world want. As I just said, China and relevant countries will soon hold the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting and the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group foreign ministers’ meeting, where further discussions will be held on the Afghan issue. You may follow up for more information.
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