A well-known Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has mocked US failures in Afghanistan over the course of the twenty-year long war by posting images of the Taliban enjoying the spoils of what American forces left behind.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian captioned a video showing Taliban militants using the wing of an abandoned aircraft to build a makeshift swing with the words "graveyard of EMPIRES and their WAR MACHINES."
The graveyard of EMPIRES and their WAR MACHINES. Talibans have turned their planes into swings and toys..... pic.twitter.com/GMwlZKeJT2— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) September 9, 2021
The aircraft appears to have been previously in use by the US-backed Afghan national government. Hundreds have since the US departure on Aug.30 been documented sitting on runways across the country - many of them unusable, but others - especially helicopters - still appearing operational.
It's believed the Taliban is seeking out former Afghan national army pilots in order to fly them. Recent social media videos suggests they've had some limited success in this, particularly after a couple of clips showing US black hawks in operation over Taliban convoy processions emerged.
China has of late taken every opportunity to add insult to injury in the wake of the humiliating US botched evacuation and troop withdrawal, which the Biden administration has been reeling politically from.
For example, one social media video produced by state-run Xinhua News sarcastically observed that US regime change in the region took the world from the Taliban to... the Taliban:
Mocking the US, Xinhua News, in a three-minute-long video shared on social media, said "When you feel life is going nowhere, just think", adding that the regime of Afghanistan "changes from Taliban to... Taliban".
"When you feel life is going nowhere, just think: with 4 U.S. presidents, 20 years, 2 trillion dollars, 2,300 soldiers' lives... the regime of Afghanistan changes from Taliban to... Taliban," Xinhua News captioned the video on Twitter.
China has positioned itself to be a prime investor in Afghanistan infrastructure projects as part of President Xi's 'Belt and Road' initiative. Taliban leaders have positively welcomed this, saying Chinese help will be crucial in the country's rebuilding.
Recently there's even been rumors that Chinese forces could eventually take over the sprawling Bagram Airbase outside of Kabul, previously America's most important base in central Asia; however, China has vehemently denied there are plans in place for this.