A Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece said on Friday that it could shoot down Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plane if she makes a stop in Taiwan, a move he said is tantamount to an "invasion" of the island.
"If U.S. fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion," Hu Xijin, an analyst for the Chinese state-controlled Global Times propaganda outlet, said on Twitter. "The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the U.S. fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down."
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 is scheduled to depart Friday for a tour of Asia and it has been rumored that she will visit Taiwan. Tensions have been high ahead of Pelosi’s trip, with the Chinese government warning her against making any stop in Taiwan, the contested island that China has repeatedly threatened to invade.
Pelosi will visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. CNN reported on Friday that the Taiwan visit currently "remains uncertain."
Xijin also has said in recent days that the Chinese military should "accompany" Pelosi’s plane during her tour.
"The Chinese mainland must be brave enough to take this step of flying warplanes over the island, which, unlike warplanes flight around Taiwan, can truly reflect China's sovereignty over the territory, and is more substantial than any visit to Taiwan by senior foreign officials," Xijin said in comments highlighted by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which is tracking the situation. "Using Pelosi's visit to Taiwan to complete this leap is most likely to make it a peaceful transition."
President Joe Biden recently said that a trip to Taiwan by Pelosi is "not a good idea right now."