Hu Xijin, the former chief editor of the CCP’s state-run tabloid Global Times, wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on July 30: “For warning the U.S. military not to escort Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, my Twitter account was locked out. I cannot use it unless I delete that post.” The post came up with a screenshot of Twitter’s infringement notice.
Hu was referencing an earlier post suggesting that China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), should use force against Pelosi if she visited Taiwan with U.S. military protection, calling it an “invasion” of the self-governing island that the CCP claims as its own. He wrote via Twitter on Friday: “The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making the tactical movement of obstruction.”
“If ineffective, then shoot them down,” the nationalist firebrand added.
Twitter’s system prompt did not specify which rule the post breached.
Hu later deleted the Twitter post to recover his then-frozen account.
The former editor-in-chief of the CCP’s overseas media mouthpiece has been well-known for his mocking and provocative pro-Beijing comments on social media, both before and after retiring from the state newspaper last year.
Hu’s latest comments came after a phone call between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden on Thursday, in which Xi warned that Washington should abide by the “One-China principle” and “those who play with fire will perish by it.”
Beijing had also warned it would take “forceful measures” after the Financial Times firstly reported the speaker’s visit to the Chinese-claimed island next month. Since pre-revolutionary China, Taiwan has sought to be recognized on the world stage as a sovereign nation, given its own democratically elected government, Constitution, and military.
Pelosi began her visit to Asia on Sunday, stopping at Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, despite questions remaining over whether her delegation will stop in Taiwan. If the top congressional Democrat follows through on a reported plan, she would be the highest-ranking U.S. politician since 1997 to travel to the democratic island of Taiwan.
Intensified speculations in recent days have fuelled tensions beyond the Taiwan Strait.
On July 29, a White House national security spokesperson said the United States had observed no evidence of looming Chinese military action against Taiwan, when asked about a possible visit to the island by Pelosi. China’s Maritime Safety Administration, however, announced a day earlier that the PLA would conduct live-fire exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
“It is okay too to shoot down Pelosi’s plane” if obstructive tactics by the Chinese military fail, Hu reiterated his position when posting on the Chinese media platform Weibo.
Hu previously suggested that the Chinese authorities should send special fighter jets to “accompany” Pelosi when she visits Taiwan to show the sovereignty of mainland China over Taiwan.
‘Declaration of War’
Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), a retired Army Green Beret, blamed the White House for diplomatically dithering at a key moment. He told Fox News last Friday that Biden needs to inform Beijing that any harm to Pelosi during her trip to Taiwan would be “tantamount to a declaration of war.”
“This is an unacceptable threat. Speaker Pelosi, regardless of what you think of our politics, is the number three in line for the presidency of the United States,” Waltz said.
Yet political commentator and China analyst Gordon Chang said that Chinese threats to shoot down Pelosi’s plane on her potential Taiwan trip “may not be bluster.”
Chang said during “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News: “You got to remember: At this very instant, there are four Chinese warships in Japanese territorial water in the Senkakus in the East China Sea. There are Chinese troops deep into Indian-controlled territory in Ladakh, in the Himalayas. A few weeks ago, the Chinese provoked a crisis in the South China Sea with the Philippines.”
“China is lashing out. It might be Taiwan, but it might be someplace else,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times