The threat comes as Pelosi departs today for a tour through Asia that includes stops to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Chinese propagandist Hu Xijin, editor of China’s jingoistic state-run Global Times, responded to news about Pelosi’s travels by issuing a threat on social media.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” Hu said. “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.”
Hu is a former Chinese army officer, a member of the Chinese Communist Party, and is the unofficial mouthpiece for the country, able to say what China’s top officials want to say, but often can’t.
If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. 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. https://t.co/V7LhrXgXoM
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) July 29, 2022
Pelosi has played her cards close to the vest regarding whether she will visit Taiwan, saying that she doesn’t “ever talk about” her travel because it creates security issues for her team.
There has been widespread bipartisan support in Congress for Pelosi to visit Taiwan, even as the Biden administration appears to be cowering in fear. China falsely claims that Taiwan belongs to it.
Tan Kefei, a Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman, demanded this week that the U.S. “must not arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan.”
“If the United States goes ahead with this, the Chinese military will never watch and do nothing,” Tan said. “It will take strong measures to thwart any external interference and separatist plans for ‘Taiwan independence’ and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
A visit to Taiwan by Speaker Pelosi would challenge China’s red line, and any challenge to our red line will no doubt be met with resolute countermeasures. pic.twitter.com/KR5c1mZRWK
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) July 29, 2022
“If the U.S. side is bent on going its own way, China will take strong measures to resolutely respond and counteract,” Chinese spokesman Zhao Lijian. “The United States should be held responsible for any serious consequences.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.