THE traditional warning China gives to the world before it goes to war has been heard in official circles, the country’s state media has reported.
The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” was issued before China’s last two war major wars and has now been invoked it conducts drills ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s proposed visit to Taiwan.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is – a vocal critic of China – is reportedly planning a visit to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as being part of its territory.
China is conducting live-fire exercises in waters near Pingtan Island of Fujian province, which is opposite the self-governing island of Taiwan.
Recent days have seen US warships scrambled to the South China Sea as tensions soar over the visit and fears it could lead to war.
The Institute of Taiwan Studies in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country’s highest-level think tank, discussed the visit, Global Times reports.
The fiercely nationalistic paper said the phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” frequently came up in discussions.
The phrase was used in official media in 1962 before China went to war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam conflict.
Yang Mingjie, the head of the institute, reiterated that sending fighter jets to intercept Pelosi’s plane remained an option.
“The US should not underestimate the Chinese people’s determination to defend core interests on sovereignty, integrity and security at any time,” said.
It comes as prominent Chinese commentator said deleted a tweet warning of military retaliation should jets escort Pelosi on any visit to Taiwan, after Twitter blocked his account.
Hu Xijin, firebrand former editor-in-chief of state tabloid Global Times, wrote: “Our fighter jets should deploy all obstructive tactics.
“If those are still ineffective, I think it is okay too to shoot down Pelosi’s plane.”
Pelosi was originally scheduled to travel to Taipei in April but pulled out at the last minute after testing positive for coronavirus.
She is forecast to attend the trip – the first by a major US politician to Taiwan for 25 years – next month, the Financial Times reported.
The 82-year-old refused to confirm whether she would be making the controversial visit, telling reporters on Wednesday: “I don’t ever discuss my travel plans. It’s a matter of security.”
Pelosi speculated that the US military had fears that her plane would be shot down.
In Taiwan, many have expressed support for Pelosi’s planned visit, as the country holds large-scale defence exercises including air-raid drills in major cities that saw millions hide in shelters.
On Thursday, the USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group arrived in the South China Sea, in a move China’s foreign ministry described as the US “flexing its muscles”.
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