The Department of Defense said China has taken advantage of the President Joe Biden's bungled withdraw from Afghanistan to damage the U.S. diplomatically with its allies.
In its annual report Tuesday to Congress regarding national security developments involving China, the Pentagon wrote "[People's Republic of China] officials and state media outlets also repeatedly condemned the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the U.S. is an unreliable partner and declining power."
The report also said China targeted the Afghanistan withdrawal as a reason to weaken U.S. relations with allies in the Indo-Pacific region, such as Australia and Japan.
"In 2021, the PRC employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode U.S. and partner influence, such as highlighting the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizing U.S. backed security partnerships, including the Quad [Australia, Indian, Japan, and the U.S.] and the Australia-United-Kingdom-U.S. partnership," the report said.
In August 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan before the U.S. military and diplomats could evacuate. It led to a chaotic withdrawal overseen by the Biden administration that included a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. servicemen, and the U.S. military leaving behind billions of dollars worth of aircraft, armored vehicles, air defense systems, and weapons.
The report also said China is seeking a "national rejuvenation" through a "world class" military by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the Communist revolution that created the PRC. It said it is an essential element of its strategy, that also includes the integration of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, for China to become a "great modern socialist society."
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