The Chinese military posted a propaganda video in which they shot surface to air missiles and launched fighter jets, and soldiers were hurriedly grabbing their guns after the announcement that Nancy Pelosi would be visiting the island of Taiwan.
“If Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, China will take resolute and strong measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday, according to the New York Post.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” Zhao said. “We would like to once again admonish the US that we are fully prepared for any eventuality and the [People’s Liberation Army] will never sit idly by.”
The video itself consisted of several fighter jet launches and Chinese soldiers rushing to grab weapons. Paratroopers could also be seen making jumps and missiles were launched in what appears to be an attempt to express Chinese military might.
“We are fully prepared for any eventuality. Fight upon order, bury every intruder, and move toward joint and successful operations! We are PLA soldiers, we swear to defend the motherland to the death,” soldiers say in the video.
Sources confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that Pelosi would be visiting after Taiwanese media outlets announced that she would be coming onto the island on Tuesday night local time. She will be the highest ranking American official to visit the island since Newt Gingrich in 1997.
China had previously warned Pelosi against visiting the island, with certain members of the Chinese state-affiliated media saying that the government should shoot down her plane should she attempt to land on the island.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” commented Hu Xijin, former editor of the Global Times, 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.”
Xijin commented again on Monday saying, “Let her go to Taiwan. But pray before departure: wish herself a safe journey and wish herself not be defined by history as a sinner who starts a spiral of escalation process expanding military frictions to a large-scale war in the Taiwan Strait.”
While Taiwan placed it’s military on high alert, White House officials, including national security spokesman John Kirby, downplayed the significance of the threats to Pelosi.
“We shouldn’t be, as a country, we shouldn’t be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we’re going to do whatever we can to support her,” Kirby told reporters.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-Chang celebrated Pelosi’s potential visit without officially confirming the House speaker’s trip.
“We always warmly welcome visits to our country by distinguished foreign guests,” he said.
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