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No Joke: China Demands US Explain Fictional ‘Plan for the Destruction of Taiwan’  

A screenshot of Chinese state media website
A screenshot of Chinese state media website
Wang Wenbin

Wang Wenbin

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman

“I’m also curious what the US ‘plan for the destruction of Taiwan’ looks like. The US needs to offer a clear explanation.”


Social media posts about the alleged Biden “plan for the destruction of Taiwan,” have been blowing up on China’s Weibo social media platform for days.

“U.S. radio show host exposed that Biden mentioned a plan for the destruction of Taiwan,” reads one of the trending hashtags circulated mainly by Chinese state media accounts. It has had 150 million views since February 22.

Commenting on the tweet, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on February 24:

“I’m also curious what the U.S. ‘plan for the destruction of Taiwan’ looks like. The U.S. needs to offer a clear explanation.”

Meanwhile, Weibo hashtag “China seeks explanation from the U.S. for its plan for the destruction of Taiwan” gathered over 100 million views on February 24.

So, what’s going on?

Chinese state media accounts started circulating news about the alleged Biden “plan for the destruction of Taiwan” on February 22. Their source? Pro-Beijing Taiwanese politician Alex Tsai.

But where did Tsai learn about this so-called “plan”? From a satirical tweet.

A screenshot of Alex Tsai's Weibo post about Garland Nixon's February 15 Tweet.
A screenshot of Alex Tsai's Weibo post about Garland Nixon's February 15 Tweet.

On February 21, Tsai, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) legislator, shared and translated a February 15 tweet from Garland Nixon, a Washington, DC-based radio show host and critic of U.S. foreign policy, whom Tsai referred to as “a prominent radio show host” in the American capital. Nixon’s tweet read:

“BREAKING NEWS: White House insiders leak that, when asked if there could be any greater disaster than the neocon Ukraine project, President Biden responded, ‘wait until you see our plan for the destruction of Taiwan.’”

When several Twitter users asked Nixon for the source of his tweet, he simply repeated it.

Yet back on January 29, he tweeted:

“BREAKING NEWS: No matter how absurdly satirical you make your tweet, there is always that one brain dead schmuck that is going to ask you for a ‘source.’”

That January 29 tweet was part of a series of 46 satirical tweets that Nixon posted starting on January 28, each of them starting “BREAKING NEWS.” Most of them criticize U.S. policy toward Ukraine and China and jibe with official Russian and Chinese talking points on U.S. foreign policy.

Here are some examples:

Nixon routinely retweets statements by Chinese and Russian officials, as well as tweets supportive of Russia and China and critical of the United States and the West more generally.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, currently led by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said on February 22 that “the so-called ‘prominent radio show host in Washington, D.C.’ actually works for Russian state-run media Radio Sputnik.”

The ministry noted that a U.S. federal judge ruled in 2019 that WZHF-AM, the Washington, D.C. radio station Nixon works at, had to register as an agent of the Russian government.

The Associated Press, citing the U.S. Justice Department, reported in 2019 that “RM Broadcasting of Jupiter, Florida, was essentially providing publicity for Russia through an agreement with state-run Rossiya Segodnya,” the state-owned Russian media conglomerate that includes RT, Sputnik and RIA Novosti. AP added that Rossiya Segodnya’s Radio Sputnik programming “is broadcast all day on WZHF-AM in the Washington area.”

“Rossiya Segodnya was even sanctioned by the Canadian government in 2022 for spreading false information during Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry wrote.

“Not only does the radio show host work for Russian state media, his personal [Twitter] account is also full of various sensational and abusive posts directed at the U.S. government, which is obviously not a normal and reliable source of information.”

Asked on February 22 about Nixon’s “plan for the destruction of Taiwan” tweet, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink responded: “[I]f I understand your question correctly, there is nothing to this alleged report as you’ve tried to describe it to me.”

Yet two days later, on February 24, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying retweeted Nixon’s tweet and charged that the U.S. “doesn’t care who will be destroyed.”