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Afghanistan: 20 Year Mission Comes to an End

On 30th August 2021, the United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. The final flight left around 1929 GMT just before the start of Tuesday. This signified the end of the 20-year long mission in Afghanistan. As per reports, since August 14, the United States has evacuated 79,000 people from Kabul including 6,000 American citizens. The withdrawal came before the end of August 31, the actual deadline set by President Joe Biden to call time on America’s longest war one that ultimately claimed the lives of more than 2,400 US service members. As per reports, United States General Kenneth McKenzie reported on Monday that “I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens”. Further, he added, “Every single American service member is now out of Afghanistan. I can say that with absolute certainty”.

Later, in a statement confirming the end of the United States mission, President Biden praised the evacuation operation and vowed to ensure safe passage out of the country for American and eligible Afghans who may remain. Over the past weeks, chaotic scenes have broken out at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport as desperate Afghans fearing Taliban repression sought to leave the country, spurring widespread criticism of the Biden administration. The Biden administration meanwhile stated that they will remain committed to helping people to leave Afghanistan after the withdrawal is over. Further, he announced that he will be delivering a speech on Tuesday to further lay out the reason as to why he didn’t extend the withdrawal even after facing pressure from some United States lawmakers and European allies. Earlier on Monday, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution requiring the Taliban to honour their commitment to let people freely leave Afghanistan.

China in Afghanistan: 

The Chinese government has still not taken any decisive position about what is happening in the region yet they have been extremely open to all communication to the Taliban. The Chinese government did invite a Taliban delegation in July to Beijing. According to the Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the Chinese government will take its position after the formation of a government in Afghanistan. The Chinese have invested a lot in the country in projects like the Mes Aynak copper mine and are still making sure that they are present in the region. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has partially blamed the United States for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, discussed the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan amidst chaotic airlifts of Afghan civilians and diplomats by the US and NATO countries before the August 31 deadline. Also, the United States along with other countries should come together to make contact with the Taliban and make sure that the Taliban have guidance. Further, he added needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood, and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability curb currency depreciation and inflation and embark on the journey of peaceful reconstruction at an early date, Wang said.

Afghanistan: a Taliban Nation

The Taliban says Afghanistan is free describing the departure as a historic moment. On 31st August 2021, Taliban fighters took charge of Kabul’s airport as the last United States soldiers flew out of the country. As they left, the sky filled with gunfire and fireworks as the Taliban celebrations took over the country.