Chinese Propagandist Calls for Pelosi’s Plane to Be Shot Down If She Visits Taiwan

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A Chinese government propagandist called for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s plane to be shot down if she visits Taiwan and is escorted by U.S. fighter jets in an inflammatory tweet sent on Friday.

“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction,” Hu Xijin, a reporter for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Global Times, said on Twitter.

“If ineffective, then shoot them down,” he added.

Hu’s comments come as Pelosi prepares to depart for a trip around the Asian continent. She has not confirmed if she will still be visiting Taiwan — as was originally planned — amid repeated threats from the Chinese government calling on her to not visit the island.

The Financial Times reported on Pelosi’s travel plans last week, citing six officials familiar with the matter who claimed that she is set to visit Taiwan with a delegation in August.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned the U.S. to stop Pelosi from going, saying, “should the U.S. side insist on doing otherwise, China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Lijian reissued his warning on Monday, stating that “China will take strong measures to resolutely respond and counteract” her visit.

Pelosi has refused to confirm her travel plans, citing security risks.

President Joe Biden spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping on Thursday, and the two leaders discussed Taiwan, according to readouts of the conservation.

The Chinese foreign ministry said “those who play with fire will perish by it,” in an apparent threat to the U.S. about their stance on Taiwan.

“The position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people,” the ministry said. “The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this.”

Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to our One China Policy,” in the phone call, according to a White House briefing.

Newt Gingrich, who visited Taiwan as speaker, urged Pelosi to go to Taiwan in order to show China that the U.S. is not a “paper tiger.”

Lijian responded to Gingrich’s remarks, saying, “Newt Gingrich has a serious track record on issues related to Taiwan. There is no merit in his extremely irresponsible remarks. This only proves once again how some US politicians would stoke tensions in China-US relations, turmoil across the Taiwan Strait and instability in the world only to benefit themselves.”

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