Viqueira: Pelosi’s Taiwan trip could lead to war

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — China is threatening to shoot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane if she visits Taiwan. Let that sink in.

That is threatening full-on war with America. And it’s in writing.

A columnist from Chinese state media tweeted:

If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. The [Peoples 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 Xijin, Global Times commentator

The Chinese are masters of propaganda, but keep in mind, the Chinese Communist Party controls the media in China. That means this tweet doesn’t go out without the approval of top Chinese officials.

For all the tough talk this week, this is the clearest sign yet that the Chinese are willing to kill the second in line to the presidency if she goes through her plan to visit. It would set off a chain of events that could lead to open military conflict between the U.S. and China — a nation boasting more active duty troops than any other country in the world.

Our military is not taking the threat lightly. The USS Ronald Reagan strike group is already in the South China Sea.

The speaker is expected to head to Asia as soon as tonight. She kept quiet earlier today on whether or not she’ll actually go to Taiwan, only saying she was “very excited.”

In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom’s carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sails to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, Oct. 3, 2021. A spate of recent Chinese military flights off Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and naval maneuvers by the United States and its allies to reinforce maritime routes challenged by China are fueling increasing tensions in a region already on edge. (Gray Gibson/U.S. Navy via AP)

Pelosi would be the first speaker of the house to visit Taiwan since Newt Gingrich in 1997. Here’s how he described his decision to go there at the time. At the time, he said he “insisted on going both to Hong Kong and Taiwan on the trip, and the government in Beijing accepted that decision, and we had very direct conversations.”

But this time, is the U.S. boxed in?

The Chinese say Premier Xi Jinping warned President Joe Biden, “Those who play with fire will perish by it” in their call on Thursday.

So at this point can the speaker and the administration back down and allow China to dictate to the U.S. who can go to Taiwan and who can’t?

Timing is everything here. We know the Chinese have long considered Taiwan their own, and after years of diplomacy and occasion military tensions, they may now be preparing to move in and take it by force.

The New York Times reports China could make a strong move against Taiwan within the next 18 months — far sooner than the previous timeline of three to eight years.

CIA Director William Burns believes Xi will use the lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine before making his move.

“I think [Xi’s] determined to ensure that his military has the capability to undertake such an action, should he decide to move in that direction,” Burns said. “I think the risks of that become higher, it seems to us, the further into this decade that you get”

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