According to Chinese media coverage, the US troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan ahead of the prompt Taliban takeover has not only left the country in sheer jitters but also slapped a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the US.
As the world witnessed how the US evacuated its diplomats by helicopter, many could not help but recall how the Vietnam War ended in 1975. The US abandoned its allies in South Vietnam and evacuated almost all its citizens from there when Saigon was taken over. The same thing happened in 2019 when US troops withdrew from northern Syria abruptly and abandoned their allies, the Kurds.
Some historians point out the 'abandoning allies to protect national interests' is an inherent flaw that has been deeply rooted in the history of the US since the founding of the country.
"During the American War of Independence, the US humbly begged the king of France, Louis XVI, to ally with it. After the war, it quickly made peace with Britain unilaterally and concluded a peace treaty with Britain that was detrimental to France's interests. This put Louis XVI's regime in a difficult position, giving cause for the French Revolution."
According to People's Daily Senior Chinese Editor Ding Gang, the victory of the Afghan Taliban is a major failure of Western civilization that started with its expansion 500 years ago.
In an op-ed published in Global Times, he wrote, "History tells us that the West's expansion was driven by a sense of mission, but so was its loss. In the 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, Washington's strategic focus has been changing, but its sense of mission to conquer the world has not."
Ding Gang said the expansion of Western civilization was a war between the Christian world and the Muslim world since 500 years ago, calling it 'a struggle not only for wealth, but also a battle of ideas and beliefs'.
Without denying the rich western legacies in fields like natural and social sciences, he called this withdrawal a strategic failure as using force to transform or conquer method is no longer effective as it was 500 years ago.
He said, "The expansion of Western civilization has caused endless wars around the globe and left heavy burdens on developing countries politically, economically, and geographically. It has been plundering wealth and markets all over the world while operating religious and ideological missions. Particularly its forceful promotion of political standards has constrained developing countries from seeking a stable development path that suits their own cultural and historical traditions."
The Chinese editor called the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11 attacks in 2001 are among those US projects that take orders from the Western mission of more than 500 years to dominate the world and transform or conquer other sub civilizations or beliefs.
He wrote, "It was this American mission and its policies that led to the doom of the US and NATO in Afghanistan. Because in today's world, it is impossible to continue to expand one's civilization and institutional model by force."
He called out the US withdrawal ("without completing its mission") as a "heavy blow" to the spirit of its allies".
Meanwhile, Global Times in its editorial published on 16 August said the Afghan exit has shocked some of its allies in Asia, including the island of Taiwan.
It said the island's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and some media that tilt toward the DPP downplayed Washington's abandonment of Kabul in a worsening situation.
The editorial claimed that Taiwan is the most cost-effective US ally in East Asia that seeks to make better use of resources to maintain its hegemony in the world.
It said: "The way the US maintains the alliance with Taiwan is simple: It sells arms to Taiwan while encouraging the DPP authorities 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. And what Washington has to do is only to send warships and aircraft near the Straits from time to time. In general, the US does not have to spend a penny on Taiwan. 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 report, however, warned that military intervention of the US to change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, upon the breaking out of war while the mainland seizes the island with forces, will make Washington pay a huge price rather than earn profit.
According to the editorial of Global Times, US involvement in a cross-Straits war would mean "unthinkable costs for the US, in front of which the so-called special importance of Taiwan is nothing but a wishful thinking of the DPP authorities and secessionist forces on the island".
The editorial further went on suggesting DPP authorities to avoid any such situation presuming the possible scenario: Once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island's defence will collapse in hours and the US military won't come to help. As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.