The Chinese former chief editor of the Global Times, the Communist Party’s state newspaper, has stated the Chinese military should shoot the plane carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the sky if she insists on visiting Taiwan.
Pelosi has been warned by the Chinese government that the military will take “forceful measures” if Pelosi visits Taiwan after the Financial Times reported she would travel to the Chinese-claimed island nation next month.
Hu Xijin, former chief editor of the Global Times, called Pelosi’s planned visit an “invasion,” and suggested shooting down the speaker’s plane if U.S. fighter jets escort it to Taiwan.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” Xijin wrote.
“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.“
A U.S. government official said, “This is unnecessary rhetoric, and the U.S. policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged.”
Lt. Col. Martin Meiners, a Pentagon spokesman said, “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on any congressional travel possibilities.”
Fox report: Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island nation off the coast of Asia’s mainland. Taiwan has declared itself independent of the People’s Republic of China and has claimed continuation of governance from pre-revolutionary China.
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The U.S. doesn’t have official relations with Taiwan but has been stepping up engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it from global institutions.