China Daily Global Edition (USA)
Show of good faith needed for cooperation
Although the precipitous withdrawal of the United States forces from Afghanistan has raised widespread concerns about developments in the Central Asian country, it seems that it might have produced at least one positive side effect in drawing China and the US closer.
Discussing the situation in Afghanistan in a telephone conversation on Monday, top diplomats of the two countries adopted a much softer tone, which was a marked departure from the bitter accusatory bickering that has come to characterize exchanges between the two sides.
Showing that the two sides’ common concerns over the situation in Afghanistan can become an opportunity for Beijing and Washington to conduct constructive and pragmatic cooperation, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China stands ready to have communication and dialogue with the US to realize a “soft landing” of the Afghan issue so that a new civil war and greater humanitarian disaster can be prevented from happening and ensure the country does not again become a breeding ground and safe haven for terrorists.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his part, said the US expects China to play an important role in Afghanistan’s orderly transfer of power and the establishment of an inclusive government, while stressing the importance of the two countries maintaining communication over major regional and international issues.
Indeed, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the US have an obligation to work together to try and enable Afghanistan to pursue national reconstruction on a peaceful path. Yet, given the current relations between the two countries, the US needs to remove the obstacles it has set in the way of China-US cooperation first.
It is unrealistic for Washington to expect Beijing to work with it if it continues to try and contain and suppress China by pressuring it on its core interests and major concerns. The US should also discard its double standard on terrorism if it wishes to cooperate with China on Afghanistan and other issues.
The previous US government under Donald Trump made a big mistake in removing the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from the US’ list of terrorist groups. It is the obligation of the current US administration to correct that.
The collapse of the Afghan government and ensuing chaos all point to the failure of the US policy in Afghanistan. Washington should also do some serious soul-searching over its penchant for resolving conflicts through force and military intervention as there has been a high price to pay for it waging its longest war.
With global challenges and hotspot issues continually cropping up, China and the US will be bound to cooperate more, which is also the expectation of the rest of the international community. To this end, Washington needs to pursue a wiser and more pragmatic China policy.