By Global Times
The US completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan on Monday, ending 20 years of war and leaving the war-torn country with an uncertain future. Chinese representative to the UN stressed that withdrawal from Afghanistan is not the end of responsibility but the beginning of reflection and correction.
After the massive but disorganized withdrawal, a US military C-17 carried the last American troops out of Afghanistan on Monday, marking the formal end of the longest war in US history.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on Monday that “As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul and transferred our operations to Doha, Qatar. For the time being, we will use this post in Doha to manage our diplomacy with Afghanistan.”
A photo provided by the US Central Command of a US Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, who was the very last American service member to board the C-17 cargo plane, went viral on social media.
Although the expression of the US service man could not be seen clearly, his desolate image – as some netizen described it – showcased US’ debacles and the embarrassing way they have left the country, which they entered under the banner of fighting against terrorism.
Celebratory gunfire rang out in Kabul after completion of the US pullout that ended America’s longest war, Reuters reported.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted on Monday that “Tonight 12:00 pm (Afghanistan time) the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Our country gained full independence. ”
With US and Western troops leaving Afghanistan, the war-torn country is facing bigger uncertainties with increasing concerns over whether the Afghan Taliban could break off with terrorism, whether it is capable to rebuild the country and to fulfill promises to the international community.
Afghanistan’s recent chaos is directly related to the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops. But withdrawal is not the end of responsibility but the beginning of reflection and correction, Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, said as the United Nations Security Council voted on a draft resolution on Afghanistan.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Monday requiring the Taliban to honor its commitment to let people freely leave Afghanistan. The resolution was passed with 13 votes in favor, with China and Russia abstained.
Geng said China has doubts about the necessity and urgency of adopting the resolution and the balance of the content of the draft, still, China participated in the consultations and both China and Russia had made crucial and reasonable suggestions to the resolution but their suggestions were not fully adopted.
Relevant countries should draw lessons from the past, earnestly respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan as well as the right of Afghans to independently determine their own future and destiny. Wantonly imposing sanctions or applying force is wrong and an act of domineering, Geng said.
Analysts said that there are many problems ahead for Afghanistan, for example, how the Taliban will promote domestic political reconciliation to build an inclusive government, how they will deal with threats from the Islamic State and possible increase in terror attacks. There are also concerns on how the Taliban will deal with ties with the US and regional countries as it seeks international recognition.
Although the Taliban has made its promises, the international community is holding wait-and-see attitude for its further actions, they said.