A Chinese state-affiliated media editor said fighter planes accompanying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be an “invasion” of China. He called for a forceful military response to what he views as an American provocation.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” commented former editor and now commentator of Global Times Hu Xijin in a Friday Twitter post. “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.”
“If ineffective, then shoot them down.”
The bombastic former editor’s Chinese-and English-language news outlet is published by the People’s Daily, considered the Chinese Communist Party’s main mouthpiece. The Global Times is renowned for publishing hawkish, insulting editorials that get it noted, and quoted, by foreign media. Officials and media members in many countries consider the Global Times the “voice” of Beijing. It brashly says what the party’s official statements tend to hint about.
Speaker Pelosi created an international incident when her office announced the California Democrat planned to visit Taiwan. The island nation has been in constant conflict with the People’s Republic of China, which claims Taiwan belongs to mainland China. Taiwan citizens disagree and renounce the mainland’s “One China” policy that says the island will be reunited with the mainland eventually even if it requires the use of force to do so.
The United States is the main supporter of Taiwan, helping its defense by selling them arms and providing military training to the breakaway nation under the terms of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.
China has shown itself to be extremely touchy about Taiwan. It refuses to have diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan as an independent country.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, warned the U.S. during a Thursday telephone call with President Joe Biden against interfering in Taiwan. Beijing has vigorously protested Pelosi’s potential trip there, warning of unspecified consequences for Mrs. Pelosi’s visit, according to a New York Times report.
If Hu Xijin really is the unofficial mouthpiece of the Chinese communist government, then the consequences may have just got specified.