The White House has been slammed after a weak response to China’s threat to shoot down the plane of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should she visit Taiwan.
Pelosi departs on a tour of Asian countries today, and her itinerary includes Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.
Hu Xijin, former editor of the state-run Global Times, responded to the news of Pelosi’s plans to travel by threatening her. Xijin is a Chinese Communist Party member, former Chinese army officer, and is often considered to be the mouthpiece of the CCP, saying what CCP officials want to say but can’t.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” Hu said on Twitter. “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.”
At the White House, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if the president had a response to the threat.
“An official who is associated with Chinese State media is suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi tries to go to Taiwan that her plane could be shot down,” Doocy said. “Does the president have a response to that?”
“I know you’re asking specifically about the rhetoric that we’re hearing from China. But as it relates to the speaker’s travels, it’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now, that’s a hypothetical. We’re just not going to speak on her schedule,” Jean-Pierre responded. “As we have said multiple times, we give advice and guidance to any members of Congress where they travel … But again, I’m not going to speak to a hypothetical.”
The lackluster response prompted a slew of criticism online.
“Unbelievable: Karine Jean-Pierre says the White House won’t respond to Chinese state media threats to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane should she visit Taiwan. ‘We’re just not going to speak on her schedule.’ Abject, embarrassing weakness,” wrote John Cooper of the Heritage Foundation.
Matt Gorman, vice president at Targeted Victory, slammed Democrats for not coming to Pelosi’s defense over the threat.
“Wild that Republicans are pretty much the only ones coming out defending Pelosi on this,” he wrote. “Dems are standing around with their hands in their pockets, shrugging.”
“Low as my opinion of the Biden White House is, I’d have expected their response to a question about a hostile foreign power SHOOTING NANCY PELOSI’S PLANE OUT OF THE SKY to be something stronger than ‘if she dies, she dies,’” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin wrote. “They failed at Americaning.”
“There are no words to express how shamefully the Biden White House has caved, catered and capitulated to China,” tweeted Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump. “The damage to our power and prestige is colossal.”
“Uh, sweetheart, you don’t have to speak to her schedule. You can and should speak to the outlandish threats by #China,” tweeted Michael D. Brown, former under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. “You don’t even comprehend what you’re saying. You only know what’s in your notes. China knows that, too. And your boss, @POTUS , he’s in the bag for China.”