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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday despite numerous threats from the Chinese government that there would be “serious consequences” for the visit.
Taiwan announced on Tuesday morning that it was hit with a cyberattack and threatened by Chinese warplanes flying near its boundary in the Taiwan Straight as China is not happy about Pelosi’s visit.
“Taiwanese authorities confirmed Tuesday that the Office of the President’s website fell victim to an overseas cyberattack that caused the site to be down for 20 minutes, according to local reporters. The president’s office reportedly confirmed that Tuesday’s attack traffic was 200 times that of a normal day,” Fox News reported.
“The culprit behind the attack has not yet been revealed but came just hours before Chinese warplanes flew close to the unofficial dividing line that separates the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan. Chinese planes reportedly engaged in tactical moves and repeatedly “touched” the aerial boundaries before and circling back to the other side of the strait, first reported Reuters. On Monday China also sent warships near the unofficial boundary one day ahead of Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan,” the outlet added.
The White House released a statement saying the U.S. would “not be intimidated” by China’s “saber-rattling” and has stood by Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan.
“China appears to be positioning itself to potentially take further steps in the coming days and, perhaps, over a longer time horizons,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said. “These potential steps from China could include military provocations such as firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan.”
Taiwan sees cyber-attack, Chinese warplanes amid spat with China over Pelosi visit https://t.co/Ofj25aeDdT
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 2, 2022
‼️🇨🇳🇹🇼🇺🇸 ✅ CONRIMATION:KAMIKAZE GRANDMA NANCY PELOSI LANDED IN TAIWAN AND SHE WAS ON THAT PLANE‼️ pic.twitter.com/EPsh6ynvkQ
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZmilitary1) August 2, 2022
🇹🇼🇺🇸The plane with Nancy Pelosi has landed pic.twitter.com/kvDPFyQNgf
— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) August 2, 2022
This is what the situation looks like now near the Grand Hyatt Taipei hotel where Nancy Pelosi is supposed to stay. pic.twitter.com/ZMuPM9IqkM
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 2, 2022
For Democrats, there’s only one way to describe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan — a no-win situation.
China’s state-run Global Times has issued a slew of threats toward President Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Democrats.
China has vowed to take extreme action if Pelosi visits Taiwan, which has left Biden in a tough bind.
He certainly doesn’t want to be bullied by communists nor does he want a war with the communists.
The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to use military force against Pelosi if she dares to visit Taiwan in August, using its state media to convince Biden that Pelosi’s trip would create political problems for Democrats.
The Global Times advised Pelosi and Biden to resist “pressure” from Republicans, as “Chinese experts” confidently predicted that “if the U.S. eventually let the partisan struggle and internal politics hijack its strategic decision-making, it would definitely bring a new crisis to the Taiwan Straits.”
The Global Times and its “Chinese experts” claimed:
China is telling the U.S. loud and clear where the bilateral “guardrails” are, and the U.S. should keep its promise of not supporting Taiwan secessionism. If Washington doesn’t keep the bilateral ties away from the edge but instead, insists on crashing against the “guardrails,” the consequence will definitely be a deadly disaster.
“Republicans’ encouragements to Pelosi are more like setting a trap than real approval. If Pelosi eventually goes to the island and causes a military crisis that the U.S. can’t handle, Republicans can still criticize the Biden administration for the failure to handle a crisis,” one of those anonymous “experts” said.
Research fellow Lu Xiang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said:
Biden wants to engage with the Chinese top leader to seek help for the relief of inflation pressure as well as for the management of the competition and differences between the two sides, but when Pelosi, the House speaker who is in the same party as the president, is likely to make an extreme provocation against China on the most sensitive Taiwan question, it’s very unlikely to be conducive to constructive and friendly talks, and the agenda of such an exchange would also be greatly impacted.
Last week, Hu Xijin, the former editor of the Chinese government-operated Global Times, threatened Pelosi if she dares to visit Taiwan.
“Where is Pelosi now, does anybody know? Some said that she will be going to Taiwan by a submarine instead, and others said that she has sneaked into Taiwan disguised as someone else, is that the case?” he said.
Where is Pelosi now, does anybody know? Some said that she will be going to Taiwan by a submarine instead, and others said that she has sneaked into Taiwan disguised as someone else, is that the case? 😀
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) July 31, 2022
The White House is being thoroughly criticized for refusing to directly address a call by a Chinese state media figure to shoot down Pelosi’s plane as well as any escorting U.S. fighters if she tries to visit Taiwan during her current Asia trip.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the threat on Friday and gave an extremely tame response.
“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,” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy said. “Does the president have a response to that?”
“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. “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.”
The unusually tame response to an official threat against the life of a high-ranking elected American official was ripped on social media.