Speed Reads

After Afghanistan

Chinese state media sends 'ominous' warning to Taiwan after U.S.'s Afghanistan exit

In an editorial from The Global Times, the Chinese state media outlet sent what appears to be an 'ominous' message to Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, amid concerns that Beijing may one day launch an invasion of the island. The gist of the message? That the outcome in Afghanistan shows that the U.S., Taiwan's closest and most powerful ally, won't be around to help when the island needs it most.

Taiwan's political leaders "need to a keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams," the editorial reads. "From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the [Taiwan] Straits, the island's defense will collapse [within] hours and the U.S. military won't come to help. As a result [Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party] will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane."

In the lead up to the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, several foreign policy analysts predicted that Washington's adverseries, including Beijing and the Kremlin, would push such a narrative as a way to undermine the United States' role on the world stage. It appears the ball is already rolling.