It is believed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will soon lead a small congressional delegation on a visit to Taiwan in addition to other Pacific Asian nations, and the Chinese communist regime — which views the independent island of Taiwan as its own rebellious territory — has expressed its great displeasure over that potential visit by Pelosi.
In fact, a columnist for a regime-controlled Chinese media outlet went so far as to suggest that the Chinese military could shoot down Pelosi’s plane if it is escorted to Taiwan by U.S. military jets, the New York Post reported.
China could shoot down U.S. military jets over Taiwan
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” Hu Xijian, a columnist for China’s state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter Friday in a since-deleted tweet.
He added, “The [People’s Liberation Army] 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.”
Though not a formal pronouncement from the Chinese government in Beijing, that message nonetheless bears some air of authority given the tight control exerted by the communist regime over virtually everything said and done by the media outlet and its employees.
Pelosi would likely arrive in a military jet
According to Politico, Speaker Pelosi and her congressional delegation were scheduled to leave this weekend for a swing across the Pacific Ocean that will include, in addition to the rumored visit to Taiwan, stops in Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
Due to obvious security concerns, though also because of standard protocol, Pelosi and her staff have been coy in refusing to confirm or deny whether the Taiwan visit is part of the planned Pacific trip. However, the outlet noted that unnamed sources said the Pentagon has made preparations for Taiwan to be part of the trip regardless of the lack of official confirmation.
It was further noted that, if the Taiwan visit does occur, Pelosi and her delegation would arrive in the capital city of Taipei in U.S. military jets — which could pose a substantial problem if, as the Chinese columnist suggested, the presence of U.S. military jets are viewed as an invasion threat by the regime in Beijing.
Pelosi, White House downplay and dismiss China threat
For what it is worth, Speaker Pelosi has downplayed the potential risks of escalation in an official visit to Taiwan and has defiantly dismissed formal cautionary threats against the potential visit from Chinese regime officials.
As for the White House, Politico noted, President Biden had previously suggested a Pelosi visit to Taiwan was “not a good idea,” though spokesman John Kirby said Friday that there were no indications that China was preparing to do “anything untoward” with regard to Taiwan.
Yet, with respect to the threat of China shooting down Pelosi, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to discuss that “hypothetical” situation during Friday’s press briefing.
Asked directly about the shoot-down threat, Jean-Pierre dodged and said, “But as it relates to the Speaker’s — the Speaker’s travels, it’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now, that’s a hypothetical. We are — we are not — just — we’re just not going to speak on her schedule.”