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Chinese state media using Afghanistan collapse to scare Taiwan: ‘US military won’t help you in war’

Taiwanese troops. (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, Twitter/Released)
August 16, 2021

The Chinese state-run Global Times is already exploiting the collapse of the U.S.-backed Afghan government over the weekend for its propaganda in an attempt to convince countries that they shouldn’t trust America to protect them. The warning singled out Taiwan, in particular.

“Editorial: From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP will quickly surrender,” the Global Times tweeted.

The Global Times pointed criticism towards not only the U.S. handling of the war in Afghanistan but also Syria and the Vietnam War.

“Once a cross-Straits war breaks out while the mainland seized the island with forces, the US would have to have a much greater determination than it had for Afghanistan, Syria and Vietnam if it wants to interfere,” the Chinese outlet wrote.

While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China maintains a claim of sovereignty over the island and has increasingly threatened to use force to assert control over the island.

In remarks commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chinese leader Xi Jinping said China is seeking a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but warned against “schemes” to help Taiwan maintain its independence from China. He said countries who interfere with China’s interests will “have their heads bashed bloody.”

In addition to its tweet, the Global Times has published multiple articles criticizing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan through the lens of the U.S. relationship with Taiwan.

One Global Times editorial is titled “Afghan abandonment a lesson for Taiwan’s DPP,” referring to Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. The editorial states, “The world has witnessed how the US evacuated its diplomats by helicopter while Taliban soldiers crowded into the presidential palace in Kabul. This has dealt a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the US.”

In another article, titled “Taiwan fears becoming the next chess piece that US casts away following Vietnam, Afghanistan: local media,” the Global Times wrote the “US’ unhesitant abandonment of its allies to evacuate its embassy personnel and citizens from the country has dealt a heavy blow to some media and US-ally-believers in the island of Taiwan, with many fearing that the island will become the next chess piece that the US will cast away as it has done with Vietnam and Afghanistan.”

As part of the evidence to its claim Taiwanese media now fear the U.S. could abandon the island in a fight with China, Global Times cited an op-ed published by Taiwan’s, which noted the U.S. evacuation of Kabul comes less than a month after Biden assured the US-backed Kabul government would continue to see U.S. diplomatic and humanitarian support. “In a similar way, US claimed its ‘rock-solid’ support for Taiwan but once conflicts occur, Taiwan’s future hangs alone by a thread,” the op-ed stated.

The Global Times tweet comes days after President Joe Biden’s administration approved his first arms deal to Taiwan, the transfer of 40 new mobile artillery vehicles to the island.