China lashes out over Pelosi visit, but experts say Taiwanese are ‘thrilled’ – National

When US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, she provoked a sharp reaction from Beijing. She announced several military drills around the island shortly after landing, which some Taiwanese scholars say is an overreaction. They also say that some citizens are actually excited about the visit.

“I think (China) is reacting way too much,” Fang-Yu Chen, an assistant professor of political science at Taiwan’s Soochow University, told Global News. “And that’s because of rising nationalism in China’s domestic politics. So everyone is against the US and everyone just thinks that the US is just doing something bad for China.”

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Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan as China issues warning

“Pelosi is very determined. She even went to Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, so she is not intimidated by China,” Chen said.

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China is threatening the “wrong person,” Chen said, adding that Pelosi has long criticized China as a strong advocate of human rights abuses in the region.

Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday to reaffirm America’s support and to advance their “common interests, including promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” her tweet continued August 2nd.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking American official to visit self-governing Taiwan in 25 years. China claims authority over the island. She left Taiwan on Wednesday.

China views Pelosi’s visit as a recognition of the island’s sovereignty.

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Pelosi leaves Taiwan, capping visit that enraged China

Pelosi leaves Taiwan, capping visit that enraged China

Several media reports and politicians claim that Pelosi’s visit has heightened tensions between China and the US, but Chen says he doesn’t think Pelosi’s visit would further damage US-China ties like the US “great power competition” does and China has already started.

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Biden holds talks with China’s Xi amid renewed tensions over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Topics related to Pelosi’s visit are trending on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with “Tapei citizens urging Pelosi to go back” taking the top spot.

Many Chinese users are calling Pelosi “an old, wicked witch,” while some are urging the Chinese government to start a war.

Ahead of Pelosi’s visit, Hu Xijin, a commentator for Chinese state media Global Times, tweeted that Chinese fighter jets should shoot down Pelosi’s plane if she insisted on visiting Taiwan, Reuters reported.

Hu’s tweet had since been deleted for violating the Twitter Rules.

On Monday, after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was confirmed, Hu tweeted, “Let them go to Taiwan.”

“But pray before you leave: wish her a safe journey and that she will not be defined by history as a sinner setting in motion a spiral of escalation that escalates military tensions into a full-scale war in the Taiwan Straits,” wrote Hu.

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However, it is very difficult to ascertain what most Chinese citizens think, as the majority of them have limited access to information and no freedom of expression due to the “Great Wall of Fire,” said John Chung-En Liu, assistant professor of sociology at National Taiwan -University.

The Great Fire Wall is a mixture of censorship measures and technological enforcement by the Chinese government to limit Chinese citizens’ access to the international network.

Contrary to Chinese nationalists’ dismissive statements online, the Taiwanese are very excited about Pelosi’s visit, Liu said.

Liu says people are thrilled that she’s actually visiting – people are watching the live broadcast and even following her flight from Malaysia.

“Instead of a sense of nervousness that you see in our international media, Taiwanese people met Pelosi with widespread glee,” Liu said. “I think that’s because we’re really happy that we’re being seen and recognized.”

He said people were talking about Pelosi’s outfits, her energy and some were also discussing what she had for breakfast.

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Liu adds that support comes from both the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party and the opposing Chinese Nationalist Party, known as the Kuomintang or KMT.

“There was a small protest in front of Pelosi’s hotel, but I would say it’s really marginal to the majority of Taiwanese who support their visit,” Liu said.

When asked how the Taiwanese feel about the military threats from China, Liu says they are used to threats from China.

“That’s what we’ve been through for the last few decades,” he said. “People might wonder why the Taiwanese aren’t nervous. And the truth is that we’ve become so used to this threat and that’s why we had the reaction we had.”

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Taiwan criticizes Chinese military drills and cyberattacks, while Beijing denies wrongdoing after Pelosi trip

Taiwan criticizes Chinese military drills and cyberattacks, while Beijing denies wrongdoing after Pelosi trip

According to Cheng-Yi Huang, research professor at the Institutum Iurisprudentiae (Institute of Law) of Academia Sinica and professor with joint appointment at the Institute of Law of Science and Technology of National Tsing-Hua University, China’s government, headed by President Xi Jinping “Netizens” mobilized to spread disinformation and state-sponsored propaganda to manipulate public opinion based on the idea that Taiwan has been part of China for 400 years.

He adds that rising nationalism is helping to solidify Xi’s leadership.

“If he wanted to preserve his legitimacy or his ruling class, they must continue this kind of nationalism rhetoric, especially when there is a very important meeting within the Communist Party in October related to his subsequent tenure,” Huang said.

Every year in October, the Chinese Communist Party holds an important meeting of its top leaders to discuss important policy decisions.

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Huang said China’s upcoming military drill around the island of Taiwan from Aug. 4 to Aug. 7 is “a gesture to show that China is still watching and will try to prevent any further advancement of Taiwan’s international status.”

“I think the option left for China is very limited,” Huang said. The effects of the Chinese deterrent will wear off over time. The Chinese Communist Party must consider options other than deterrence and military practice.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. China lashes out over Pelosi visit, but experts say Taiwanese are ‘thrilled’ – National


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