The White House’s distinction between Far Eastern allies and Afghanistan is consistent with the US strategic pivot during the Obama years: away from the Middle East, toward China. While China interprets the befuddled Afghanistan withdrawal as an indication that the US will not defend Far Eastern allies, the US interpretation implies a deeper concentration of military power. Each government’s policy indicates a deep belief in its own respective statement.
Taiwan’s president took the jab from Taiwan’s own, homegrown COVID vaccine. So, while Taiwan can claim one vaccine, Trump can claim all others. This further asserts Taiwan’s capability of standing on its own. Hong Kongers face the music, no matter the injustice. The world is watching. China’s response that Afghanistan is an indication that Taiwan should distrust the US serves mainly as a signal to Western readers that China indeed is a bully. Again, China doesn’t think they think so.