Chinese, Iranian, and to some degree Russian media are reacting with glee over humiliating scenes of America's exit plans in chaos coming out of Kabul Sunday into Monday.
Perhaps as expected, Chinese state-run Global Times featured it's most prominent headline Monday with the words "Taliban's rapid victory embarrasses US, smashes image, arrogance." Alternately Beijing is claiming to "respect" Afghans' choice - as the same article reads. And then there's outright mocking - as is seen by the Global Times' editor...
Chinese netizens joked that the power transition in Afghanistan is even more smooth than presidential transition in the US. pic.twitter.com/t1twRIiFme— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 15, 2021
It's been no secret that in recent weeks as rapid Taliban gains became obvious, China's government has been preparing to officially recognize the rule of the Islamists now in control of the presidential palace and all government ministries. China and Afghanistan share a short border of up to 47 miles.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying declared at a Monday briefing: "China has noticed that the Afghan Taliban said yesterday the war was over, and they vowed to establish through negotiations an open and inclusive Islamic government, and to take responsible actions to ensure the safety of Afghan people and foreign diplomatic personnel."
His word choice of an "inclusive" Islamic government is interesting and laughable indeed, though perhaps there was some subtle trolling of the West going on as well.
Beijing also declared Monday that it's ready for "friendly and cooperative" relations with the Taliban, though has reportedly pressed for "commitments" of respect for human rights. Beijing has through the summer maintained 'unofficial' relations with the Taliban, which included a late July visit of Taliban commanders to China to meet with the foreign minister.
The GT op-ed took plenty of shots at Western officials amid their utter mismanagement of the troop exit, for example in the following:
The West shows a totally different image compared to those of China and Russia. "World leaders blame Biden, and express disappointment with Afghanistan." This is the headline of a report from Fox News on Monday, as it has listed the negative comments on the US failure from the leaders of some Western major countries, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Meanwhile, there are widespread reports that Taliban militants are actually guarding the Russian and Chinese embassies in Kabul, after they declared they would stay open.
Currently, only the embassies of Russia and China are functioning in Afghanistan. Both are being guarded by the Taliban.https://t.co/oL8YWWalzx— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) August 16, 2021
Naturally this resulted in Western MSM pundits seeing something sinister, charging that the Taliban and Putin are "cozying up" - as one Daily Beast author wrote.