Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., told Newsmax Saturday that China’s threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should she visit Taiwan is "unacceptable," and an "outrage."
"This rhetoric is unacceptable from China," Fleischmann said during an appearance on "Saturday Report."
"Any American should be safe when they travel, including [the] speaker of the house."
Although not directly from the Chinese government, Hu Xijin, columnist for the state-run Global Times, posted on Twitter Friday that China should "shoot down" Pelosi and her military escort aircraft if she follows through with a visit to Taiwan during a swing through Asia this week.
"If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion," Hu posted in a since deleted tweet that was published by Newsweek. "The PLA 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."
The Newsweek article said the "warning" did not come directly from the government.
President Xi Jinping during a two-hour phone conversation with President Joe Biden this week warned the U.S. that those "playing with fire would perish."
"American citizens need to be safe, and we cannot tolerate any foreign nation going out and threatening us," Fleischmann said. "We need to respond. Joe Biden needs to respond loudly and clearly, the speaker needs to be kept safe wherever she travels."
It is not yet clear if Pelosi will follow through on her promised visit to the island.
Fleischmann said that the United States is viewed as weak around the world under Biden and other leaders feel emboldened since former President Donald Trump left office in 2021.
"Joe Biden has been in a position of weakness and sent an American message of weakness from the inception, the day he took office, his policies, whether on the domestic front, on the economic front, the Chinese are looking at how we handle Russia and their invasion of Ukraine," he said. "We are not as strong as we were under President Donald Trump. We're not as resolved as we were under President Donald Trump. We are rudderless and confused in the executive office."
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