Chinese netizens advise Pelosi to see a doctor, not secessionists on Taiwan island
Published: Apr 08, 2022 04:53 PM
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese netizens have advised US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to see a doctor rather than secessionists on the island of Taiwan, now that she is sick with COVID-19.

The hashtag asking Pelosi to seek treatment ranked high on the social media platform Sina Weibo until Friday after her spokesperson announced on Thursday night Pelosi had tested positive and is currently asymptomatic. 

Pelosi postponed a trip to Asia scheduled later this week including a reported visit to the island of Taiwan, citing the positive test. The Taiwan visit was reported by some Taiwan media outlets and Japan's Fuji News Network but not confirmed by the US or DPP authorities on the island. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian expressed sympathy to Pelosi and wished her a quick recovery after the news that she tested positive for COVID-19. But he stressed that what Pelosi should do is "not to postpone a visit, but cancel it immediately."  

China has made its stance clear over the reported visit by Pelosi to the island of Taiwan on several occasions and lodged stern representations to the US, Zhao said. 

Observers speculated Pelosi's visit to Taiwan island was an information tactic to test the mainland's bottom line. The positive test result and postponement of the Asia trip constitutes a step back after China issued stern warnings over the provocation. 

After media reports of Pelosi's Taiwan island visit emerged, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Thursday "China would respond with resolute and forceful measures, and all ensuing consequences would be borne solely by the US" if the visit takes place.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized during a phone conversation with French President's Diplomatic Counselor Emmanuel Bonne that the reported visit "openly tramples on the red line of the one-China principle." If Pelosi deliberately visits Taiwan, it would be a malicious provocation against China's sovereignty and gross interference in China's internal affairs, and would send an extremely dangerous political signal to the world, Wang said.

The Chinese Embassy in the US released a statement saying, "In the past few days, Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang and the Chinese Embassy in the US have lodged stern representations with the US Congress and government, and stated China's solemn position, urging the US to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-US Joint Communiqués, and to cancel Speaker Pelosi's plan to visit Taiwan."

Chinese experts have said if Pelosi visits the island, the consequences would be much more serious than Newt Gingrich's visit to Taiwan in 1997.

Li Haidong, a professor from the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the Global Times that the US is good at the trick of spreading provocative news via unofficial channels to test China's attitude, and draws back if China responds in a tough way. 

The US should stop such dangerous "tentative" actions and take China's warnings seriously. If it is playing with fire, China is prepared for all scenarios, the expert said. 

The development received high attention on social media, with netizens urging Pelosi to abandon any dangerous plans. "Get well soon, but forget about a Taiwan visit. You won't want to see the consequences," said a Weibo user. 

''She not only needs to overcome COVID, but should also seek treatment for the 'messing up the world' disease. Many US politicians should see a doctor for that,'' another net user said on Sina Weibo.

"Since the US has removed most epidemic restrictions, I bet Omicron is nothing to worry about. The biggest problem is hegemonic mentality embedded in her, and many others' minds," said another. 

Secessionist media expressed disappointment over the "postponement" of the reported visit, but some Taiwan-based netizens on Facebook said the island was actually saved from being used by the US to provoke the mainland. 

Glad she won't come to ask for more money, said a Taiwan netizen.