Communists Put on Feeble Taipei Protest Against ‘American Witch’ Nancy Pelosi

Pro-China demonstrators protest outside the Grand Hyatt hotel ahead of the arrival of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Pelosi is expected to land in Taiwan on Tuesday evening in defiance of Chinese threats, a trip that would make her the highest-ranking American …
I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg

A small group of representatives from pro-communist organizations in Taiwan attempted to organize a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visiting the country, mustering what in photos appeared to be about a dozen people at one protest holding up a sign reading “American witch get out of Taiwan, China.”

Pelosi was in Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday for a 19-hour visit that included meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese legislature, and a visit to Taipei’s Human Rights Museum. The Chinese Communist Party spent much of the past month trying to threaten Pelosi out of visiting the island nation – a trip she did not confirm until landing in Taipei – by claiming that the Speaker and her small delegation of American lawmakers landing in the country would result in a war between China and America. One particularly aggressive Chinese government propagandist suggested Beijing “shoot down” Pelosi’s airplane if it attempted to visit Taiwan, a recommendation the Communist Party ignored.

Taiwan is a sovereign nation with democratic institutions that has never in its history been governed by a regime based in Beijing. Despite this reality, the Chinese Communist Party claims Taiwan as a “province” and considers the Taiwanese federal government a criminal separatist organization. The government of the United States, fearing an end to diplomatic ties with national security threat China, does not formally recognize Taiwan as a state, but maintains cordial relations with its government.

The small anti-Pelosi Taipei protest appeared to be part of a larger, but mostly failed, effort by the Communist Party to create the impression that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was unpopular.

The state-run Global Times – whose former editor Hu Xijin was the commentator urging China to kill or kidnap Pelosi – claimed that an uprising of “civic groups, politicians, and business and industry representatives” hit Taipei to demand that Pelosi leave the country.

“The Taipei-based Chinese Patriotic Concentric Association took to the street at a site near the Grand Hyatt hotel in the Xinyi district, where Pelosi is reportedly to stay. The crowd ranged from a few hundred to about 1,000 people from various civic groups,” the Global Times claimed. Photos from the event appear to show a modest–at best–anti-American protest at the indicated site.

A protester holds a banner during a protest against the visit of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, outside a hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug 2, 2022. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday on a visit that could significantly escalate tensions with Beijing, which claims the self-ruled island as its own territory. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

A protester holds a banner during a protest against the visit of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, outside a hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - AUGUST 02: Demonstrators take part in a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) visit on August 02, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light. (Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) visit on August 02, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) visit on August 02, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - AUGUST 02: Demonstrators take part in a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) visit on August 02, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light. (Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) visit on August 02, 2022, in Taipei, Taiwan. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Chinese Communist Party enthusiasts organized a similar, and apparently even smaller, assembly outside the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong on Wednesday to protest Pelosi. The Chinese government seized Hong Kong – for decades a capitalist, democratic region – in the aftermath of the 2019 pro-democracy protests, imprisoning or forcing into exile a large number of pro-democracy leaders and implementing a “national security” law that effectively banned dissent. The crackdown sent many Hongkongers fleeing to Taiwan and appeared to steel the resolve of Taiwanese citizens not to engage in a “one country, two systems” agreement with Beijing, like the one the Communist Party violated to capture Hong Kong.

The anti-Pelosi Hong Kong protest featured what appeared to be about five people stomping on photos of her face and ripping American flags apart.

HONG KONG, CHINA - AUGUST 03: Pro-China supporters tear a U.S. flag during a protest against U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan outside the Consulate General of the United States on August 03, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Pro-China supporters tear a U.S. flag during a protest against U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan outside the Consulate General of the United States on August 03, 2022 in Hong Kong. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

A pro-Beijing protester stamps on an image depicting the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a protest outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong on August 3, 2022 after Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on August 2, 2022 as part of a tour of Asia that has inflamed tensions between the US and China. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

A pro-Beijing protester stamps on an image depicting the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a protest outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong on August 3, 2022 (PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-Beijing protesters rip up a US flag after stamping on an image depicting the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a protest outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong on August 3, 2022 after Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on August 2, 2022 as part of a tour of Asia that has inflamed tensions between the US and China. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-Beijing protesters rip up a US flag after stamping on an image depicting the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a protest outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong on August 3, 2022 (PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

In contrast, what appeared to be a much larger crowd rallied to welcome Pelosi both at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and at Songshan Airport, where Pelosi landed late on Tuesday. Some of the convened waved American flags or held up signs in support of the American delegation.

Residents await a convoy carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening in defiance of Chinese threats, a trip that would make her the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years. Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg

Residents await a convoy carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters await a convoy carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening in defiance of Chinese threats, a trip that would make her the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years. Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg

Supporters await a convoy carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters outside Songshan Airport as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening in defiance of Chinese threats, a trip that would make her the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Supporters outside Songshan Airport as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters outside Songshan Airport as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening in defiance of Chinese threats, a trip that would make her the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Supporters outside Songshan Airport as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The visit was a moment of political unity in Taiwan, as its major opposing parties celebrated Pelosi’s presence in the country and lawmakers from both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and more China-friendly Kuomingtang (KMT) met with the speaker during her visit to the legislature.

The Chinese state-run Global Times nonetheless depicted the anti-Pelosi displays as representative of the general sentiment towards the United States in Taiwan, quoting bellicose participants in the protests.

“If we don’t warn the Yanks in Taiwan, then we will be like Tsai Ing-wen who is acquiescing to the Yanks,” one such protester said, referring to the Taiwanese president. “Both sides of the Taiwan Straits are one family, and we can sit down and talk without the Yanks interfering. We sincerely hope for early reunification.”

The Communist Party newspaper reinforced these opinions with an alleged “expert” on Taiwan-China relations, Chiu Yi, who described Pelosi as a “disaster maker.”

“Pelosi talks about supporting Taiwan but is actually a disaster maker. Her visit may create the most serious cross-Straits crisis in decades,” Chiu was quoted as saying.

While grassroots displays of support erupted in Taiwan, multiple reports indicated attempts at sabotage and attacks on Taiwan generally, presumably from Communist Party supporters. Taiwan’s Apple Daily – the surviving wing of the Hong Kong newspaper after the Chinese government forced the flagship in that city to shut down and arrested its founder – reported Wednesday on a bizarre incident at a Taipei 7-11 in which the television screen at the convenience store abruptly changed to read “Warmonger Pelosi Get Out of Taiwan” in Chinese text. An image of the screen went viral on social media, with many questioning if it was a doctored photo, prompting the chain to offer an explanation. 7-11’s management blamed “an unknown source” for hacking into the screen and forcing the message onto the television and claimed that it acted to “repair it immediately.”

In a more serious escalation, Taiwanese newspapers reported on Tuesday that multiple airports on the island received as many as nine threats, including bomb threats, prior to Pelosi’s landing at Songshan Airport. Tsai’s official website and several other government sites simultaneously experienced DDoS attacks that shut down their pages, a suspected attack by Beijing loyalists.

Given the various security threats, Taiwan’s Liberty Times reported on Wednesday that Pelosi’s visit to the Jingmei Human Rights Museum, which honors the victims of Taiwan’s “White Terror” authoritarian period, required a heightened police presence and “explosives disposal vehicles” in case police discovered bombs at the scene. No reports indicate that the vehicles had to be used despite the threats.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.