Chinese people voice indignation at island trip
A man in Xiamen, Fujian province, looks across the water to Jinmen, a county and small island attached to Taiwan, on Wednesday. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP
People on the Chinese mainland are infuriated by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, but are generally optimistic and confident in China's ability to handle the situation and thwart any secession efforts by Taiwan separatist forces on the island and foreign interference.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has escalated tension in the region since its proposal in April. The situation reached a climax on Tuesday night when her plane touched down on the island, prompting strong protests from various Chinese government departments.
Starting on Tuesday afternoon, tens of millions of Chinese netizens tuned in to livestreams tracking Pelosi's plane from Malaysia to the island. Comments wishing for reunification on the streams cascaded down screens so fast they became difficult to read.
One livestream provider, China.com.cn, gained over 5 million new subscribers on short video-sharing platform Douyin from Tuesday to Wednesday.
When media reports said that Chinese Su-35 fighter jets had taken off to cross the Taiwan Straits as Pelosi's plane approached its destination, the news "broke" Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo and people were temporarily unable to refresh the site due to the massive spike in traffic.
Many netizens wished for the country to take more drastic military countermeasures, while many others also breathed a sigh of relief knowing that cooler heads had prevailed and a direct military confrontation between two of the world's nuclear powers had been averted.
Cao Ying, an employee of a consulting firm in Hainan province, said the Chinese people are peace-loving, but the Chinese people's shared anger toward Pelosi's visit speaks volumes to the nation's stance and solidarity regarding the Taiwan question.
"I have faith in China to do the right thing and at its own pace," she said. "What is important is that we stay focused on the big picture. After all, you shouldn't kick over the entire chess board just because your opponent made one nasty move."
A Chinese netizen going by the user name "China Super Dad" said he and his friends are furious, not only because of Pelosi's blatant disregard for China's sovereignty and warnings, but also at the cynical and instigating rhetoric used by Taiwan separatists calling for the Chinese mainland to back up its words.
"During the 2019 Hong Kong protests, when a photo of a Shenzhen sports stadium packed with Chinese military vehicles went viral on the internet, the Hong Kong rioters were frantically asking for military intervention," he wrote in a post that garnered hundreds of thousands of views on instant messaging platform WeChat.
"But half a year later, China surprised the world by adopting the National Security Law for Hong Kong that resolved the issue with great speed and minimal cost," he said. "This proves that Chinese statesmen are clear-minded and highly capable. We don't need to feel disappointed and disheartened by the current situation in Taiwan, we will get the last laugh."