House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was mocked on social media for saying she "always felt a connection" with communist China.
Pelosi, whose visit last week to Taiwan angered the Chinese government, spoke of her "connection" with mainland China during a press conference in Tokyo on Friday.
"When I was a little girl, I was told when at the beach, if I dug a hole deep enough, we would reach China, so we've always felt a connection there," Pelosi told reporters.
Her comment came while answering a question about if she thinks the U.S.-China relationship will be affected by days of intense Chinese military drills in the region after her trip to Taiwan.
Pelosi's comment prompted ridicule from conservatives.
"We are truly led by imbeciles," tweeted Clay Travis, Outkick founder.
"PELOSI: 'When I was a little girl, I was told at the beach if I dug a hole deep enough we would reach China. So we've always felt a connection there.' LOL what?" said Benny Johnson, host of The Benny Report on Newsmax.
"You're telling me this person was our best choice to visit taiwan?" Logan Hall tweeted.
Pelosi spoke during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
National Review reported that the origin of the "digging to China" folklore might come from naturalist/poet Henry David Thoreau, who in 1854 wrote in "Walden" that "there was a crazy fellow in town who undertook to dig through to China, and he got so far that, as he said, he heard the Chinese pots and kettles rattle."
"Pelosi's comment doesn't really make sense geographically," National Review's Jack Wolfsohn wrote. "If you could theoretically dig a hole straight from China — and make it through the hard inner core of the earth — you would end up closer to South America than to the United States."
China's military announced fresh drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan, a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest Pelosi's visit to Taipei.
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