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August 2 was a tumultuous day on Chinese social media, with millions closely following the landing of Pelosi’s plane in Taiwan. Chinese state media is spreading the message that the Chinese authorities not only condemn this decision, but that the Chinese people denounce it as well.

PElosi’s visit to Taiwan is the hottest topic on Weibo, where netizens are closely following the latest developments and what they could mean for the near future of Taiwan and China-US relations.

“Today is a sensitive time, as it is rumored that Pelosi will fly to Taiwan tonight, defying the one-China principle,” world times political commentator Hu Xijin written on Weibo Tuesday afternoon, while Pelosi’s plane was still en route:

“At this time, I would like to tell everyone that I firmly believe that the Chinese government will definitely take a series of countermeasures, which include military actions. The Department of National Defense and the Department of National Defense have repeatedly stated that they are “on high alert and combat ready” and will not “sit and watch”. It’s the prestige of the country, how could they not fight back? So let’s wait and see what happens next.

Tuesday was an extremely tumultuous day on Chinese social media as Taiwan and Pelosi-related hashtags appeared one after another, and news and videos continued to flood the platform, sometimes causing servers to become temporarily overloaded. from Weibo.

Around 8:30 p.m., an hour before Pelosi’s scheduled landing in Taiwan at that time, more than half of all trending search topics on Weibo were about Pelosi and Taiwan, as virtually everyone was following the route of the plane and when it would land.

Shortly before Pelosi’s plane was scheduled to land, images circulated on Weibo showing the iconic Taipei 101 building with a greeting to Pelosi, welcoming her to Taiwan and thanking her for her support.

On Tuesday night, China’s official channels promoted the hashtags “The United States is playing with fire and will get burned by the provocation of Taiwan’s participation” (#美台勾连挑衅玩火必自焚#) with the hashtag “1.4 billion people disagree with China’s interference in sovereignty issues” (​​#干涉中国主权问题14亿人不答应#).

Image posted by the Communist Youth League on Weibo.

Millions of Chinese netizens followed the flight radar live broadcasts, with a live broadcast by China.org receive over 70 million viewers at any given time.

At 10:44 p.m. local time on Tuesday evening, after taking a detour, Pelosi’s plane finally landed in Taipei. About eight minutes later, Nancy Pelosi, dressed in a pink suit, stepped off the plane with her delegation.

“The Old Witch has landed!” many commenters wrote on Weibo, where Nancy Pelosi was recently dubbed “The Old Witch.”

Shortly after, Hu Xijin posted about the two on Twitter (in English) and on Weibo (in Chinese), writing that Pelosi’s landing in Taiwan opened an “era of high-intensity competition between China and the United States over the Taiwan Strait”. Hu wrote that the PLA announced a series of actions, including military operations and live-fire drills in areas surrounding Taiwan from Aug. 4 to 7.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (华春莹) also posted a series of tweets condemning the “wrong and dangerous path” the United States allegedly took, reiterating the same “1.4 billion people disagree” narrative that was previously propagated on Weibo through official channels: “Being an enemy of China’s 1.4 billion people won’t end well. Acting like a tyrant in front of the whole world will only show everyone that the United States is the greatest danger to world peace.

Many netizens expressed frustration at how easy it seemed for Pelosi to land in Taiwan despite repeated warnings. “It’s not like I want us to go to war,” one person wrote on Weibo, “But they get away with it too easily. For days we have been shouting about countermeasures, what kind of countermeasures are these?

“Even our community guard who earns 1500 a month [$220] does a better job; if he says you can’t come in, you can’t come in,” another blogger wrote.

The majority of commentators express their displeasure and anger at Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan, with some even writing, “I hope Taiwan will be liberated when I wake up” or “We must unify again, once the Old Witch will be gone, we can do it.” .”

After midnight the hashtag “There is only one China” (#只有一个中国#), launched by CCTV, picked up on Weibo and received over 320 million views. The CCTV message that only said “there is only one China” has been transmitted on Weibo more than 1.3 million times.

“Taiwan is the Taiwan of China,” many people commented.

“I don’t think I can sleep tonight,” some wrote.

Meanwhile, on FreeWeiboa website monitoring censored posts on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, some posts shed another light on the Taiwan issue.

“Regarding ‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan.’ Everyone can vote, there is a multi-party system and there can be democratic elections. Only then can we talk about reunification,” said a comment. It was censored shortly after.

For our other articles related to Pelosi and his visit to Taiwan, click here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions from Miranda Barnes

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