The Chinese communist regime has both directly and informally threatened consequences if, as anticipated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leads a small congressional delegation to the sovereign island nation of Taiwan, which China claims as its own rebellious territory and has vowed to retake, with force if necessary.
To her credit, Pelosi has appeared undeterred by those threats, which prompted a mouthpiece for the regime to shift the onus to Taiwan and warn of “severe punishment” for the island’s democratic government if it hosts a visit from the House speaker, the Washington Examiner reported.
Taiwanese government threatened with “severe punishment” over Pelosi visit
This latest threat directed at Taiwan’s government came from Hu Xijin, a columnist for the Chinese regime-run Global Times, who had threatened potential military action against Speaker Pelosi and her likely U.S. military escort just one day prior.
“If Pelosi really visits Taiwan as planned, the Tsai Ing-wen authorities are accomplice,” Hu tweeted Saturday in reference to the Taiwanese president. “The mainland will definitely carry out severe punishment actions on Taiwan at the same time. The unbearable consequences will fall on Tsai authorities.”
If Pelosi really visits Taiwan as planned, the Tsai Ing-wen authorities are accomplice. The mainland will definitely carry out severe punishment actions on Taiwan at the same time. The unbearable consequences will fall on Tsai authorities. https://t.co/HJKall7AiR
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) July 30, 2022
Just one day earlier, in a since-deleted tweet, Hu had suggested that the Chinese military, known as the People’s Liberation Army, was prepared to shoot down Pelosi and her military escort if they flew into Taiwanese airspace.
“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” the columnist warned. “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.”
China previously warned of “resolute and strong measures”
Those threats from Hu, a controlled propagandist for the communist regime, came a little more than a week after government officials in Beijing had issued more formal but vague warnings against the possible visit of Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan.
According to an Associated Press report on July 19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijiang told reporters that a Pelosi visit to the island would “severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely impact the foundation of China-U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.”
“If the U.S. were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao warned.
Likely Taiwan visit is part of broader travel around the Pacific
Politico reported Friday that Speaker Pelosi was set to lead a small congressional delegation this weekend on a cross-Pacific visit to Asia with planned stops in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, as well as Taiwan, though that particular visit was never officially confirmed or denied due to obvious security concerns.
To be sure, Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan in defiance of China’s warnings carries the risk of ratcheting up tensions in the region and not everybody thinks it is a good idea right now — such as President Joe Biden and Pentagon leaders — but her clear display of support for democratic Taiwan over communist China is nonetheless welcomed by many Americans, including some who otherwise disagree with Pelosi on just about everything else.