Chinese state media personality suggests shooting down Pelosi plane in Taiwan
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The former editor of chinese communist party The state-run tabloid, the Global Times, has suggested the country shoot down US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Taiwan if her plane refuses to divert.
The Chinese government has warned he will take “strong action” if Pelosi travels to Taiwan after the Financial Times reported she would visit the island nation claimed by China next month.
Hu Xijin, former editor of the Global Times, called Pelosi’s planned visit an “invasion” and suggested shooting down the speaker’s plane if US fighter jets escorted it to Taiwan.
“If American fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane to Taiwan, it’s an invasion,” Xijin wrote.
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“The PLA has the right to forcibly clear Pelosi’s plane and US warplanes, including firing warning shots and performing tactical obstruction moves. If that is ineffective, shoot them down. “
A US government official said, “This is unnecessary rhetoric, and US policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged.
Lt. Col. Martin Meiners, a Pentagon spokesman, said, “It would not be appropriate to comment on Congressional travel opportunities.”
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island nation off the coast of mainland Asia. Taiwan declared itself independent from the People’s Republic of China and claimed to maintain the governance of 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 to the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
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The United States has no official relations with Taiwan, but has stepped up its engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it global institutions.
Pelosi and his delegation will also visit Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore and spend time in Hawaii at the headquarters of the US Indo-Pacific Command, the Financial Times added, citing people familiar with the matter.
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Hu, who retired from the Global Times last year, continued to write and speak for the CCP online and at national events. The former editor rose to prominence with aggressive, mocking and intentionally provocative comments on social media.
However, a series of scandals and serious accusations damaged his reputation at home and abroad.
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Hu was accused by a former deputy editor, Maggie Duan Jingtao, of fathering children with several Global Times colleagues. He denied the charges, accusing Jingtao of blackmailing him for his job at the newspaper.
Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.