China on Tuesday held up America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as an example of Washington’s “selfish” foreign policy, hitting back at Vice-President Kamala Harris’ accusations of intimidation in Asian waters.
During a trip to Singapore Harris took aim at Beijing for making claims to “the vast majority of the South China Sea” as she sought to reassure regional allies of America’s commitment to Asia and binding international rules.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin snapped back, accusing the US of hiding behind rhetoric of a rules-based global order to defend its own “bullying, hegemonic behaviour”.
“The current events in Afghanistan clearly tell us what the rules and order the US speaks of are,” he told a regular press briefing.
“The US can wantonly conduct military intervention in a sovereign country and does not need to be responsible for the suffering of the people in that country,” Wang said.
“In order to defend ‘America first’, the US can arbitrarily smear, suppress, coerce and bully other countries without paying any price,” he added.
“This is the order the US wants… but who will believe them now?”