WH Spox Declines to Comment on Suggestion Pelosi's Plane Could Be Shot Down if She Tries to Visit Taiwan


The White House is not speaking about suggestions that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) plane could be shot down if she tries to visit Taiwan.

On Friday, Hu Xijin, who Twitter noted works for an outlet that is considered “state-affiliated media,” wrote, “If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. 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,” the tweet added.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “An official who is associated with Chinese State media is suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi tries to go to Taiwan that her plane could be shot down. Does the president have a response to that?”

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“I know you’re asking specifically about the rhetoric that we’re hearing from China. But as it relates to the speaker’s travels. It’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now that’s a hypothetical. We’re just not going to speak on her schedule,” Jean-Pierre responded.

She went on, “As we have said multiple times, we give advice and guidance to any members of Congress where they travel… But again, I’m not going to speak to a hypothetical.”

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The exchange comes amid reports that the top House Democrat could visit self-governing Taiwan amid concerns that China may try to make a move to attack the island.

China has previously said it would like a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan.

However, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the BBC he believes that China is taking steps to eventually invade Taiwan.

While Pelosi has not commented on a potential trip to Taiwan, an ally of the U.S., that has not stopped Chinese officials from issuing warnings.

 Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly sent a warning to President Joe Biden during a phone call this week.

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“Public opinion shall not be violated, and if you play with fire you get burned. I hope the US side can see this clearly,” he reportedly said.

And Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman, Tan Kefe, said on Tuesday, “If the United States goes ahead with this, the Chinese military will never watch and do nothing. It will take strong measures to thwart any external interference and separatist plans for ‘Taiwan independence’ and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Notably, Pelosi’s visit is not the first time a House speaker has visited Taiwan. In 1997, Newt Gingrich visited the island.

It should be hard for Biden and his administration official to say, “Any suggestion of shooting down the person third in line to the presidency is entirely inappropriate and recklessly ratchets up tensions — and if you don’t want to find out what our military is capable up close and first-hand of then don’t touch our people.”

In the wake of China’s threats, it seems like Pelosi has no choice but to visit Taiwan. Otherwise, it could look like the U.S. flinched and doesn’t have the motivation or conviction to stand up for its allies.

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