Sharp contrast: China brings hope with assistance vs US taking lives in chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan
Published: Jun 30, 2022 07:49 PM
American military aircraft in Afghanistan vs Chinese military aircraft in Afghanistan Graphic:GT

American military aircraft in Afghanistan vs Chinese military aircraft in Afghanistan Graphic:GT

 A Chinese military aircraft recently arrived at Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan to deliver disaster relief supplies to the local people, reminding many netizens of the stark contrast from last August when a US military aircraft forcibly took off from the airport in a chaotic withdrawal from the country, killing at least seven people.

Responding to this contrast, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a regular press briefing on Thursday cited a comment by a netizen saying there were two planes at the same Kabul airport, one taking lives, one carrying hope.

A powerful earthquake jolted parts of Afghanistan including the capital city Kabul early Wednesday, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 in eastern Afghanistan, BBC reported on June 22.

After the earthquake, China did its best to meet the urgent needs of the Afghan people, immediately deciding to provide 50 million yuan ($7.47 million) of emergency humanitarian assistance to the disaster-hit areas in the country, the largest and fastest aid provided to Afghanistan, according to Zhao.

As of June 29, three batches of relief materials have arrived in Afghanistan, Zhao said, noting that China is coordinating closely with the Afghan interim government to ensure that relief materials are delivered to the victims as soon as possible to help see the Afghan people through their difficulties.

Zhao's remarks came after two PLA Air Force Y-20 cargo planes arrived at Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan on Tuesday morning, carrying with them disaster relief supplies provided by China including tents, towel blankets, folding beds and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people after a deadly earthquake, China Central Television reported on Tuesday.

In contrast, the US is the initiator of the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan and is directly responsible for the years of war and poverty suffered by the Afghan people, Zhao pointed out.

Afghanistan had been invaded by the US 20 years ago, and during the 20 years more than 30,000 civilians were killed and 11 million have become refugees, according to Zhao.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson revealed that even during the occupation of Afghanistan, the US tacitly supported and participated in the production and trade of drugs in the country, which resulted in poppy planting areas and opium production in Afghanistan far exceeding pre-invasion levels, leading to an inundation of drugs into Afghanistan and seriously harming the health of the people.

"Even more outrageously, the US has imposed a freeze on the Afghan people's $7 billion lifesaving funds without their permission, which has made the suffering of the Afghan people even worse," Zhao said, slamming this evil act by the US as "intolerable."

In the face of natural and man-made disasters, Zhao urged the US to immediately "release its hands from the throat" of the Afghan people, return Afghanistan's national property to the country as soon as possible, take concrete actions to repair the damage done to the Afghan people and ease the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The sharp contrast between China's and the US' moves in Kabul airport again demonstrated that China is the true advocate and practitioner of peace and friendship in the Asia-Pacific and the international community while the so-called "China threat" hyped by the US and some other Western countries and regions is unfounded, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

As a friend of Afghanistan, China has never stood idly by in the face of disasters in Afghanistan and has brought hope to the country and the local people, Qian said. However, during the past 20 years, the US has launched a war that brought destruction and despair to Afghanistan and its people, Qian said.

After US President Joe Biden in February signed an executive order to unfreeze $7 billion in Afghan funds but use it for the US' needs, the international community was outraged, media reported. In response, China and many other countries and regions in the international community have urged the US to return the life-saving money to Afghanistan unconditionally.