Nancy Pelosi

China's official media sends indirect warning to Nancy Pelosi about travel to Taiwan

By Hardik Wasanwal

The official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party has reiterated President Xi Jinping's warning against playing with fire on Taiwan, ahead of a possible visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Commentary in the People's Daily did not name him, while other official outlets avoided direct attacks on him, but reported warnings against the visit by former President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, more furious comments on social media - including calls for a direct military response - remained uncensored and went viral on the country's tightly controlled internet.

Pelosi declined to reveal the details of his Asian trip, citing security reasons.

Saturday's remarks, attributed to Zhong Sheng, a pen name often used for official comments on key issues related to China's foreign relations, were made during a two-and-a-half-hour conversation with US President Joe Biden earlier this week. It reiterated a statement of "this was the desire of 1.4 billion Chinese people to defend China's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

β€œPublic opinion cannot be disregarded and those who play with fire will certainly set themselves on fire. The US must see this point clearly and follow the one-China principle with its words and actions, Said in the comment.

It also calls for more dialogue between the two countries "to manage their differences ... and to avoid wrong decisions".

Angry comments and threats to stop Pelosi's plane were among the most popular topics on Chinese social media on Saturday.

A Weibo page for the post with the hashtag "If Pelosi goes to Taiwan, the Chinese military won't just sit and watch" was read 830 million times as of 6 p.m., although only 30,000 comments appeared. It has long been a practice for mainland Internet censors to manage comments online to prevent public opinion from spiraling out of control.