If China Sees Pelosi Flying with US Fighters It May Consider It an Invasion: Government Mouthpiece

A former editor of China’s state-run newspaper said in a since-blocked tweet that China has the right to shoot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane if she has a fighter-jet escort on her way to visit Taiwan.

Without confirming two weeks of speculation that she will visit Taiwan, Pelosi on Friday announced her Asian trip, which will include Japan, Singapore and South Korea, according to Politico.

Taiwan was not listed among the places Pelosi planned to visit, but citing sources it did not name, Politico said the Defense Department is moving forward with plans for her to reach Taiwan via a U.S. military aircraft.

“We want Congress to be a part of” the U.S.  strategy in the region, Pelosi said Friday.

“I’m very excited, should we go to the countries that you’ll be hearing about along the way, about the conversations we’ll have … We have global responsibilities,” she said.

China has been fuming over the trip since it was announced, with ever-escalating rhetoric flowing from Chinese officials and state-run media.

China says Taiwan, to which the Nationalist government fled after losing the Chinese civil war in 1949, is rightfully a part of China. It does not want any international recognition of the island’s independence.

On Friday, that reached a new peak when Hu Xijin, former chief editor of the Global Times, called for a violent response, according to Fox News.

“If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion,” Hu wrote.

“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,” he wrote, referring to the People’s Liberation Army by its acronym.

Twitter blocked the tweet, saying it violated its policies. Hu said he had to delete the tweet to unlock his account, according to Reuters.

A similar message from Hu was posted on the Chinese app Weibo.

“I’ve conveyed the message: if the U.S. military sends fighter jets to escort Pelosi to Taiwan, then the move would take the vile nature of such a visit to another level, and would constitute aggression,” he wrote.

On Saturday, Chinese naval forces held live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from China, according to the South China Morning Post.

Chinese officials have said often they will fight to absorb Taiwan.

Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe made that point last month, according to The New York Times.

“If anyone dares to split off Taiwan, we will not hesitate to fight, will not flinch from the cost and will fight to the very end,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.