After disgraceful Afghan retreat, will US do well in Western Pacific?: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 31, 2021 09:23 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

The photo of the last US soldier leaving Kabul airport in the dark has gone viral across the world. With sensational words, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin described this humiliating rout as a great evacuation, expressing a sense of solemn and stirring "pride."

Austin's sensationalism is disgusting. The US could have avoided today's retreat had it not launched the stupid invasion 20 years ago. If the US had even a little judgment and strategy, it would not have been so embarrassed even in its retreat. What Washington needs is the courage to reflect on its mistakes and learn a lesson. However, US officials are touched by themselves, once again, and they are trying to show that even their mistakes and crimes look so noble.

Such a despicable attitude toward mistakes makes people worried.  Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan does not mean the US is refraining from releasing its destructive power in the modern world. It is a turning point instead, showing that the US will find the next target to do evil. Such evildoing is low-end in US politics: No US president or any senior official has been held accountable for wrongly launching the war in Afghanistan. The war has long been seen as a mistake, but there has always been a lot of fancy rhetoric whitewashing it all the time.

The US cannot conquer Afghanistan, nor can it remold Afghanistan. During the heyday of the US, the George W. Bush administration had a presumptuous plan of setting a "democratic model" in the Greater Middle East, but the plan failed from Iraq to Afghanistan. However, some US elites now hold the fantasy of using the resources withdrawn from Afghanistan to contain China. They want to come up with a more ambitious plan to stop the process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and to change China's future.

It seems Washington remembers nothing but its good old days. The US has achieved the transformation of fascist Germany and militaristic Japan through the overthrow of the regime, military occupation, constitutional reform and implementing constitutionalism. Therefore, the US was convinced that it can replicate its previous successes in Afghanistan and Iraq. By group confrontation and comprehensive containment, the US brought down the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. The US believes that it can revive its old dream and bring China to its knees in a new cold war.

The world has watched clearly when the US made a fool of itself in Afghanistan over the past two weeks. While the world criticizes the Biden administration, the Chinese people need to concentrate on its own issues as soon as possible. We should prepare for Washington's new round of moves in the Western Pacific due to its imperial ambitions and "hyperactivity."

The US is ready to engage in a full-scale geopolitical competition with China, but it is clear that most of Washington's moves are merely bluster without substance. What the US fears most is China's ability to develop continuously. China's economic power is gradually catching up with that of the US and will even surpass it, while China's military power is becoming stronger and stronger to defy the latter's intimidation. These momentums of China have formed a trend to disintegrate US global hegemony. Washington has been dreaming that China would lose its development momentum, while the US obtains China's development dynamics.

However, China's future depends on its own efforts. This will give us the great initiative to maintain China's self-development momentum. No matter how the US deploys its troops, it will be, to a large extent, useless as long as China maintains its well-functioning internal mechanisms. Maintaining such strategic awareness and confidence is decisive for us to win the game with the US. 

Therefore, China should pay attention to the shift in US strategic focus, but there is no need to be terrified by it. The impatient and impetuous US political elites think that playing the strategic and geopolitical game is everything. What they lack is patience and resilience at the operational level. The US system cannot provide the long-term support needed for a complex struggle. The US will lose as long as we are fighting in a protracted war and we transform the strategic game into a tactical entanglement and consumption.

Let the US make all the adjustments and arrangements, and arouse people's sentiment. China is accelerating the construction of its defense capacity. It is succeeding in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. It is stopping monopolies and solving the involution in the country's basic education. In general, China is strengthening its competitiveness in all aspects. And it will use its strength in all spots needed in the competition with the US, be it the knife's edge, or the hand, the arm, the entire body that holds the weapon. 

The US, which has made such a fool of itself in Afghanistan, can never hold or defend the banner of justice in the Western Pacific or have the situation well in hand there. The US attempt, out of its hegemonic selfishness, to block 1.4 billion Chinese people from realizing national rejuvenation will inevitably suffer greater failure. The US will learn a profound lesson, which may come in way less than 20 years.