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Chinese internet memes Pelosi with man who wanted her plane shot down

A fantasy romance between a most unlikely pairing went viral.

A photoshop of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chinese pundit Hu Xijin, who said her plane to Taiwan should be shot down
La imagen editada "une" a Nancy Pelosi y Hu Xijin, quien dijo que su avión a Taiwán debería ser derribado | @WhatsOnWeibo/Twitter

August 2, 2022 2:17pm

Updated: August 2, 2022 6:22pm

The internet is fond of imaginary romances, but no pairing could be less likely than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chinese pundit who suggested the People’s Liberation Army shoot down her plane to Taiwan.

So a photoshopped “old wedding photo” of the pair as young lovers was destined to go viral, according to What’s on Weibo.

Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, is known for his bold, sometimes inflammatory commentary style directed at the Chinese Communist Party’s adversaries in the West.

The Chinese firebrand was banned from Twitter on Friday for a post calling Pelosi’s planned trip to their democratic neighbor an “invasion,” which entitled the Chinese military to respond in kind.

"If U.S. fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion," Hu wrote in the now-deleted post.

"The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the U.S. fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down."

Tensions in the region have been sky-high since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has not ruled out retaking it by force.

A crafty netizen injected some levity into the situation by taking an old military photo Hu posted to celebrate Peoples Liberation Army Day on August 1 and photoshopping him beside a young Pelosi in an old-fashioned Chinese wedding photo, reports What’s on Weibo.

The meme spread quickly on Chinese social media.

Some commentors praised the make-believe couple as a “classic” and a “fine match” between a “talented man and a beautiful woman,” according to translations by What’s on Weibo.

Others thought “it was not a good deal for Hu,” as Pelosi is twenty years his senior.

Users offered their own versions, such as one in color.

But a few did not approve. One Chinese blogger, “Chairman Rabbit,” said that the country is facing a serious situation and that this is not an appropriate time to joke around, reports What’s on Weibo.

Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, defying both American and Chinese officials who warned her against the trip.