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Former magazine editor Communist parties of China The state-run tabloid Global Times suggested that the country shoot down U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Taiwan if her plane refuses to veer off course.
The Chinese government has warned he will take “strong action” if Pelosi visits Taiwan after the Financial Times reported she would travel to the Chinese-claimed island nation next month.
Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, called Pelosi’s planned visit an “invasion” and offered to shoot down the speaker’s plane if American fighter jets escorted him to Taiwan.
“If US fighter jets are escorting Pelosi’s plane to Taiwan, it’s an invasion,” Xijin wrote.
“The PLA has the authority to forcibly disperse Pelosi’s aircraft and US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and tactical movement of obstacles. If ineffective, then shoot them down.
A US government spokesman said, “This is unnecessary rhetoric and US policy on Taiwan remains unchanged.”
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on any possibility of travel to Congress.”
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, an island nation off the coast of mainland Asia. Taiwan declared itself independent from the People’s Republic of China and announced the continuation of the rule 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 frequently sent planes to the area to inspect Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The US does not have official relations with Taiwan, but it is also stepping up engagement with the island. China seeks to isolate him from global institutions.
Pelosi and her 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.
Hu, who retired from the Global Times last year, continues to write and speak for the CCP online and at national events. The former editor became famous for his aggressive, tongue-in-cheek and deliberately provocative comments on social media.
However, a series of scandals and serious accusations undermined his reputation at home and abroad.
He was accused by former deputy editor-in-chief, Maggie Duan Jintao or fatherhood of children with several colleagues from the Global Times. He denied the accusations, accusing Jintao of blackmailing his position at the newspaper.
Liz Frieden of Fox News contributed to this report.