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Afghanistan withdrawal portrays U.S. a ‘declining power’

AT

Kabul: The Department of Defense said China has taken advantage of the US bungled withdraw from Afghanistan to damage the U.S. diplomatically with its allies.

In its annual report Tuesday to Congress regarding national security developments involving China, the Pentagon wrote “Chinese officials and state media outlets also repeatedly condemned the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the U.S. is an unreliable partner and declining power.”

The report also said China targeted the Afghanistan withdrawal as a reason to weaken U.S. relations with allies in the Indo-Pacific region, such as Australia and Japan.

“In 2021, the China employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode U.S. and partner influence, such as highlighting the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizing U.S. backed security partnerships, including the Quad [Australia, Indian, Japan, and the U.S.] and the Australia-United-Kingdom-U.S. partnership,” the report said.

In August 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan before the U.S. military and diplomats could evacuate. It led to a chaotic withdrawal overseen by the Biden administration, and the U.S. military leaving behind billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft, armored vehicles, air defense systems, and weapons.

“[Chinese] Officials and state media outlets also repeatedly condemned the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the US is an unreliable partner and declining power,” the report said.

The US considers China the top challenge to America’s national security according to this report.

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