China on Friday warned that U.S. fighter jets escorting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan could be shot down.
"If US fighter jets escort Pelosi's plane into Taiwan, it is [an] invasion," tweeted Hu Xijin, a columnist for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Global Times. "The [People's Liberation Army] 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," Hu added.
Pelso, D-Calif., was expected to depart to Asia on Friday but declined to clarify her plans for the trip, citing security issues.
"Well, I don't ever talk about my travel, because as some of you know, it's a security issue," the speaker said. "It's a security issue for every member of Congress traveling — especially abroad. But for the speaker, it is an additional security issue, and for those traveling with me, not just members, but staff, et cetera.
"We have global responsibilities, whether it comes to three things, I would say security, economy and governance," Pelosi said Friday. "And this will be part of that."
Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call Thursday warned the U.S. against playing with fire over Taiwan, highlighting Beijing's concerns about a possible visit to the Chinese-claimed island by Pelosi.
Taiwan's foreign ministry said Friday it will continue to deepen its close security partnership with the United States, after President Joe Biden and Xi, China's leader, spoke Thursday.
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