China state media warns Taiwan of ‘catastrophic strike’ over Pelosi’s visit

A Chinese state newspaper warned of a potential “catastrophic strike” against Taiwan if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the island nation, arguing that “warplanes” should be used as a threat.

Some Japanese and Taiwanese media reported that California Democrat Pelosi, who is No. 3 in the line of presidential succession, planned to visit Taiwan later this week after a trip to Japan. (On Thursday, a spokesman for Pelosi said she had tested positive for the coronavirus.) Pelosi’s office did not confirm such a visit, which would be the first by a Speaker of the House since 1997.

China clarified on Thursday that it would view such high-profile visits as provocation. Under its “one country, two systems” governance philosophy, China sees Taiwan as part of its territory. But the island nation has existed independently for decades, and analysts have expressed concern in recent years that Beijing may try to take back full control of Taiwan through military force.

Referring to Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Thursday: “If the United States insists on its way, China will take strong measures in response to the defense of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” will pick up.”

“All possible consequences arising out of this will be entirely borne by the US side,” Zhao said.

A Chinese state newspaper warned of a “disastrous strike” against Taiwan if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visits the island, as some East Asian media have reported. Above, Pelosi speaks during the North America Building Trades Union Legislative Conference on Tuesday.
Drew Anger / Getty Images

Global TimesAn English-language tabloid broadcast by the ruling Communist Party of China published an opinion article on Thursday urging Beijing to take a tough stand against Pelosi’s visit.

“It can be announced that the airspace over Taiwan is closed on 10 April and a flight ban has been imposed. PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] To ensure that the ban is enforced, it may deploy a large number of warplanes to fly around the island,” said Hu Zijin, a former Global Times The editor-in-chief wrote in the article.

Hu argued that “PLA warplanes could fly over the island of Taiwan on the day of Pelosi’s voyage, either crossing the strait from west to east or from the direction of Pelosi’s aircraft to the island, For which the PLA should be prepared for absolute contingency.”

“If the Taiwanese military fires at our warplanes, the PLA must shoot down Taiwanese planes or launch a devastating attack on Taiwanese military bases from where the missiles are fired,” he said.

newsweek reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokesman Joan O said that inviting US officials has long been “an important part” of the ministry’s work, adding that the island would only announce such visits at an appropriate time, according to Reuters. accordingly. Pelosi has been critical of China’s human rights abuses. This Sunday marks the 43rd anniversary of the US signing the Taiwan Relations Act, which sets the “legal basis for informal relations between the United States and Taiwan” according to the State Department.

With Russia’s internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine, some analysts have speculated that China may be watching the conflict closely as it considers any next steps to take back control of Taiwan. China has repeatedly sent military aircraft to violate Taiwan’s air defenses over the past several months. On 23 January, 39 Chinese aircraft flew into the area, and Taiwanese fighters were fired upon in response. In mid-March, 13 Chinese aircraft entered the area.

President Joe Biden—like former President Donald Trump before him—has seen many in Washington, D.C., a central issue of his foreign policy as a growing Chinese threat. According to a White House readout summary, in a March 18 call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden “reiterated that US policy on Taiwan has not changed, and emphasized that the United States will not accept any unilateral change in the status quo.” continues to protest.”

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