In a banned tweet, a top state media commentator reportedly said China could ‘forcefully dissipate Pelosi’s plane’ and shoot him down if he flies to Taiwan | Today Headlines
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A Chinese government propagandist has warned that the plane carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could be attacked.
Pelosi aides have yet to confirm whether the president’s Asian tour will include a visit to Taiwan.
Military experts have warned that a visit to Taiwan could heighten the risk of a regional crisis.
A leading Chinese government propagandist has warned that the Chinese military could attack the plane carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi if it is escorted by US warplanes during a much-speculated stopover in Taiwan during his next visit to Asia.
Pelosi left for a tour on Friday that could include a controversial stopover in Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy at the heart of growing tensions between Beijing and Washington.
In a now-banned tweet, Hu Xijin, a commentator for the Chinese state-owned Global Times, wrote: “If American fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane to Taiwan, it’s [an] invasion. The [People’s Liberation Army] has the right to forcibly remove Pelosi’s plane and US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and performing tactical obstruction movements.”
“If they’re ineffective, then shoot them down,” Hu added, according to the New York Post.
The Guardian dubbed Hu “China’s troll king” and its “most famous propagandist” in a 2021 profile. Hu was previously editor and party secretary of the Global Times, where “he helped establish a new striking tone for China on the world stage,” The Guardian said.
Pelosi’s aides have yet to confirm whether the president’s trip will include a visit to Taiwan.
Responding to growing anger in China over the possibility of Pelosi setting foot in Taiwan, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “There is no reason for it to come to this, to come to blows, to come to heightened physical strain. There is no reason because there has been no change in US policy toward one China,” AP reports. .
Tensions between China and Taiwan have been high for decades, with China viewing the island as its territory. By contrast, Taiwan, an island democracy of 23 million that broke away from communist China in 1947, considers itself an independent state.
The possibility of a Pelosi visit to the island has sparked fiery rhetoric and warnings from Beijing. Reports indicate that the Pentagon plans to call in US warplanes and ships to provide additional security near Taiwan if a visit takes place.
China’s top military experts have warned that a visit to Taiwan by Pelosi could heighten the risk of an “accident” that could trigger a military crisis in the region.
“There is a risk of an accident, not a risk of an imminent Chinese attack on Taiwan,” Bonnie Glaser, a leading China expert and director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told Insider.
If she traveled to the island, about 100 miles off China’s southeast coast, Pelosi would become the highest-ranking US lawmaker in more than two decades to visit Taiwan.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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