If the US House speaker’s plane tries approaching Taiwan it’ll be intercepted, Global Times newspaper says
Chinese warplanes could fire shells ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s plane if the US Speaker of the House eventually attempts to land on the self-governed island of Taiwan, China’s state-run newspaper Global Times warned on Tuesday.
Taiwan hasn’t been mentioned among the destinations of Pelosi’s ongoing Asian tour, which include Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but media reports, citing officials from Washington and Taipei, suggested that she may still fly to the island.
Beijing has expressed anger at these reports, and pledged to take action to stop this much-rumored trip.
Global Times published an article detailing the possible methods China might use to prevent Pelosi from arriving on the island with her entourage.
Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao told the English-language outlet that the country’s air force was capable of regular patrols around Taiwan, meaning that the US official’s attempt to reach the island won’t go unnoticed.
“If Pelosi’s aircraft enters our exercise area, we would have to take measures to eject, intercept, escort, and send a radio warning,”He stated.
But if those measures won’t work and “Pelosi gets her way, our warplanes may fire shells diagonally ahead of Pelosi’s plane as a further warning,”Fu refused to give up.
Training in mock combat air warfare was provided by the Chinese military for its troops. “improving the pilots’ ability to quickly enter combat status for abnormal situations at any time” ahead of the US House speaker’s Asian tour, which kicked off in Singapore on Monday.
“This is a clear signal sent by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) that China is fully capable of setting up an all-weather defense for intercepting any aircraft seeking to enter the island from any direction,”Global Times highlighted this.
Fu said that China held a huge military advantage over the region and that any US military escort would do little to defend the House Speaker in case there was an actual confrontation. According to Chinese reports, a US Navy strike team, led by an aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, was spotted in the Philippines waters, not from Taiwan.
Taiwan-based expert Chiu Yi suggested that Pelosi will likely try getting to the island from its eastern side where there’s less Chinese military presence. “But isn’t it hilarious that the No.3 political figure in the world’s No.1 country is hiding like a rat and being smug about it?” Chiu wondered.
Zhao Lijian from the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned about the possibility of the speaker visiting during Monday’s briefing. “if you play with fire, you will get burned. I believe the US is fully aware of the strong and clear message delivered by China.”
Pelosi to Taiwan “the PLA will not sit idly by”It will be taken “resolute and strong countermeasures” to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said. “If she dares to go, let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.
Taiwan is officially called the Republic of China (ROC). It has been independent since 1949. However, Beijing never recognized Taiwan as an independent country.
Although China has recognized Beijing as its sole legitimate authority in China, the US continues to have strong, unofficial relationships with it, including selling Taipei state-of-the art weapons and supporting the Chinese push for sovereignty. This is much to the dismay the Chinese authorities.