Taliban security personnel arrive to destroy a poppy plantation in Sher Surkh village in Kandahar province
On Tuesday, the Taliban marked two years of rule in Afghanistan. In photo: Taliban security personnel arrive to destroy a poppy plantation in Sher Surkh village in Kandahar province. AFP


  • Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021
  • Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the chaotic events highlighted Washington's failure
  • The U.S. froze nearly $9.5 billion in assets days after the Taliban takeover

Two years on from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, there are "profound lessons" to be learned, China said, subtly criticizing the U.S. efforts in the Asian nation.

"Over the past two years, a certain country has cut off aid, frozen Afghanistan's assets and imposed sanctions, worsening the suffering of the Afghan people," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing Tuesday.

Wang's comments came on the second anniversary of Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. It took control of Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021 after then-president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

The Afghan government collapsed after the U.S. started pulling out its military forces from the country, resulting in chaos as thousands of people flooded the borders and the Kabul airport. A suicide attack on Aug. 26 killed as many as 180 people, including 13 U.S. servicemen. The withdrawal was completed on Aug. 30. Taliban have ruled the country since then as citizens, especially women, lived in uncertainty.

"The event left behind profound lessons which, to this day, are still worth deep thought," Wang said, adding that the events that led to the Afghan government's fall "marked a military, political and counter-terrorism failure of the U.S. in Afghanistan, and once again proved that military intervention, political infiltration and 'democratic transformation' from the outside will not work and will only breed turmoil and disaster."

Days after the Taliban's takeover, the U.S. froze nearly $9.5 billion in assets under the Afghan central bank and also halted shipments of cash to the country. Last September, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Department of State announced the establishment of the "Afghan Fund" that will enable $3.5 billion of Afghan central bank reserves to be used "for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan" while keeping from Taliban access.

Wang said the "relevant country" should learn from the lessons of the chaos in Afghanistan and deliver on its promise to support the country, as well as ensure all frozen assets will be used to address the urgent needs of the Afghan people.

From August 2021 through September 2022, Washington has provided humanitarian assistance of more than $1.1 billion to the country, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said. A May report from the agency said there are still 28.3 million people in the country who need humanitarian aid.

Beijing gave over $37 million in aid to Afghanistan last year, the Chinese embassy in Kabul said. In April, it welcomed Afghanistan's participation in the Belt and Road initiative, saying it will cooperate with the country to fight extremism, terrorism and separatism.

At the time, the Chinese foreign ministry also called on the U.S. to "live up to its commitments," saying the world's largest economy "created the Afghan issue in the first place."

China has not formally recognized the Taliban government. However, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with some Taliban leaders in Qatar in 2021. Wang said China respects Afghanistan's "pursuit of its own national growth" and was willing to play a constructive role in its efforts.