With Kabul falling to the Taliban, China has offered the United States a chance to chat, hoping for a “soft landing” in Afghanistan. But, at the same time, the Chinese Foreign Minister has been criticizing Biden and Washington.
Offering a Hand?
Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S/ Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked on the phone on Monday. Wang said that the chaos in Afghanistan is in part due to America’s quick withdrawal.
“China is willing to conduct communication and dialogue with the U.S. to promote the soft landing of the Afghan issue and avoid a new civil war or humanitarian disaster … and not let it become a breeding ground and shelter for terrorism once again.”Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Kabul was quickly captured by the Taliban over the weekend, prompting a hasty exodus from the country. Though many troops remain in the country as the deadline for complete withdrawal approaches.
A Team Effort
Wang wants the United States and China to work together when it comes to global and regional issues. However, he cautions that the “US cannot, on the one hand, deliberately curb and suppress China to damage China’s legitimate rights and interests, and on the other hand, count on China to offer support and coordination.”
According to a statement from the State Department, Wang and Blinken talked about Afghanistan and the current state of affairs in the country. They also spoke about security concerns and ensuring the safety of their citizens.
Biden’s administration had been actively trying to get China on the same page on issues like climate change. However, the administration has also been heavily critical of the nation on trade, technology, security in Asia-Pacific, and human rights.
According to Melbourne political risk analyst Henry Storey, Wang wants China to come across as a responsible global partnership, which plays in sharp contrast to America’s interventionist tendencies.
“The reference to the U.S.’s ‘hasty withdrawal’ and Afghanistan being a ‘breeding ground and shelter for terrorism’ alludes to China’s clear anxieties around how instability in Afghanistan may impact China and the broader region.”Henry Storey
China and the U.S. have both had one-on-one conversations with Russian Prime Minister Sergey Lavrov. Wang wants Russia to encourage the Taliban to strive for more inclusive policies and bring about a peaceful end to the twenty-year war.