Chinese state media has virtually gloated over the news of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi contracting Covid-19 as the illness derailed her planned trip to Taiwan that had the mainland fuming for days.
Pelosi postponed a trip to Asia that included Taiwan, which China calls a breakaway province, planned for later this week.
The savvy US politician was diagnosed with asymptomatic Covid-19.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian wished her a quick recovery but said that Pelosi should “not postpone a visit, but cancel it immediately”.
China has made its stance clear over the reported visit by Pelosi to the island of Taiwan on several occasions and lodged stern representations to the US, Zhao said.
According to Global Times on Friday, Chinese netizens urged Pelosi to see a doctor rather than go to Taiwan to meet separatists.
China’s social media platform Sina Weibo was abuzz with netizens asking Pelosi to seek treatment after her spokesperson announced on Thursday night that the US House Speaker had tested positive.
Zhao had said on Thursday after the visit was announced: “China would respond with resolute and forceful measures, and all ensuing consequences would be borne solely by the US.”
Of the many sticking points between Beijing and Washington, the breakaway province of Taiwan has been the most controversial.
Any country that supports the island as a separate nation and recognises its sovereignty faces bellicose rhetoric from China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has often talked about the “reunification of Taiwan” and Beijing has come close to not ruling out the military option or the use of force to bring the island back within the Mainland’s fold.
On another front, China has praised the move by Taliban-led government in Afghanistan to ban cultivation of narcotics in Afghanistan.
Beijing said the US should apologise and compensate for what it called Washington’s dishonorable role in the Afghan drug problem, according to a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry.
The Taliban government recently announced a ban on poppy cultivation throughout the country, along with a ban on the manufacturing, use and transportation of other narcotics.