China media say Taliban takeover 'smoother' than US election

Chinese social media users mock US, say Taliban takeover 'smoother' than presidential transition
2 min read
16 August, 2021
Chinese government-linked social media users are mocking the United States, calling the Taliban takeover a smoother power transition than the Capitol siege of 6 January.
A user visits Chinese social media website Weibo. [Getty]

China mocked the US withdrawal in Afghanistan on social media Monday, saying the Taliban takeover of the country was smoother than the presidential transition in the US.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the state-affiliated media outlet Global Times, referenced posts made on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, saying the Taliban takeover was "peaceful" compared to the US Capitol riot on 6 January when a pro-Trump mob besieged the Capitol after protesting election results.

"What a joke. In Kabul today, the new government takeover was even more stable than when the US changed presidents," a Weibo user named Chen Zhen wrote.

Users also poked fun at the blame game between US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump over who is responsible for the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan.

Weibo user DiGuaXiongLaoLiu wrote: "The script should read like this from here on. Step one: Trump asks Biden to resign and take responsibility for Afghanistan. Step two, Biden refuses to resign, and states supporting Trump will say if Biden doesn't resign, they'll leave the US! Step three, two years later the US government dissolves itself and becomes the Ameri-Russian Government."

Biden recently said that he "inherited a deal cut by my predecessor" that "left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001".

Trump has called on Biden to resign over the Taliban takeover, saying it would have been "a much different and much more successful withdrawal" if he were still president.

For China, a neighbour of Afghanistan that has made significant investment in the region, the security challenges posed by the abrupt return of the Taliban are pressing.

Beijing has engaged the Taliban prior to its takeover of Kabul.

The Taliban pledged that it would "never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts detrimental to China".

Beijing's foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised the US for acting "irresponsibly" in its "hasty withdrawal" from Afghanistan.

Chinese state media has painted the situation in Afghanistan as a major "humiliation" for the US and has used the recent events to boast Beijing's perceived policy of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.

In a statement Sunday, the Chinese embassy in Kabul said it had requested various parties in Afghanistan to "safeguard the safety of Chinese citizens, Chinese institutions and Chinese interests".