Afghanistan: All stories
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
An Afghan National Army soldier stands guard at the gate of Bagram US air base on Friday, on the day the last of American troops vacated it. Photo: Reuters

China blames US for conflicts from Afghanistan to Iran

  • Chinese foreign minister says United States is the origin of problems in Central Asian country and should make sure transition is stable
  • Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy is outdated and should be swept into the rubbish, he says

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the US of being “the source” of a series of conflicts in the world, seeking to present Beijing as a “defender” and “friendly neighbour” for countries in conflicts.

Addressing an international relations conference in the Chinese capital on Saturday, Wang listed a series of international conflicts – from Afghanistan to Iran – that he said the US was directly responsible for.
Wang also said the “Indo-Pacific strategy” – a key plank of American foreign policy – was based on an outdated cold war mentality.

“The Indo-Pacific strategy ... was aimed at building an exclusive circle [of countries against China] in geopolitical conflicts. It is walking backwards in history and a repetition of a cold war mentality that should be swept into the rubbish,” he said.

Wang made the comments at the World Peace Forum organised by Tsinghua University and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, a government-run policy group.

On the sidelines of the forum, Wang said China hoped to resume high-level dialogue with the United States, but that it “depends on whether the US is sincere”.


US troops leave Bagram Airfield as withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion

US troops leave Bagram Airfield as withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion

The Indo-Pacific strategy was part of the Trump administration’s plan to establish a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, largely to contain China.

The Biden administration has continued the approach but with greater focus on bringing in regional allies.

At the forum, Wang warned that China was determined to and capable of defending its interests.

“Today’s China is no longer the same country of 100 years ago,” he said. “No individual or force should underestimate the determination and capacity of the Chinese people to uphold the country’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.”

His comments reflect greater assertiveness from Beijing, particularly in the rhetoric from its officials.

At centennial celebrations for the Communist Party last week, President Xi Jinping pledged that foreign powers would “get their heads bashed” if they tried to bully China.

Xi has also pledged that China’s role in the global stage will be based on cooperation, non-confrontation, openness, seeking mutual benefit and opposing a zero-sum game, hegemonism and power politics.

As US withdrawal opens Pandora’s Box in Afghanistan, Pakistan and China are in the firing line

Wang underlined the approach by calling for “peaceful dialogue” to resolve world conflicts that he said were stirred up by the US.

“The US, as the origin of problems in Afghanistan, should be responsible for making sure the transition in the country will be stable. The US cannot evade responsibility, and cannot cause instability or war by withdrawing troops,” Wang said.

“As friendly neighbours that share the flow of mountain ranges and rivers, China is determined to support the peaceful transition in Afghanistan.”

On nuclear issues, Wang said: “The US should reflect on its decades-old policies of making military threats and putting pressure on North Korea.”

He also urged the US to take the first step to lift unilateral sanctions on Iran to show its commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from under former US president Donald Trump.

Wang criticised the US for encouraging “separatists” in Taiwan, and accused “foreign forces” of colluding with people in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

On the conflicts in Myanmar, Israel and Palestine, and the Gulf region, Wang said China would continue to support communication with relevant parties on these issues.


China tells its nationals to leave Afghanistan as violence spirals ahead of US withdrawal

China tells its nationals to leave Afghanistan as violence spirals ahead of US withdrawal

Speaking at the same forum, retired senior diplomat Fu Ying challenged the US and its allies on their call to uphold a “rules-based order”, arguing that those rules only served the interests of the US and its “exclusive” circle.

“The Western world has always brought up [the need for a] ‘rules-based order’. But what are the rules? Did China take part in making those rules?

“China has participated in the process of fighting climate change and combating the pandemic. But [the West] should not impose the rules set by their exclusive circle on China,” Fu said.

“Multilateralism should not advance the interests of just one country or one party. It should safeguard the interests of multiple parties.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: wang blames U.S. for global strife