China’s famous pundit Hu Xijin appears to have stopped working as a Global Times Special Commentator. According to Radio Free Asia, his social media accounts have been emptied of the title since September 8.

Hu is the former editor-in-chief of Global Times, the nationalistic Communist Party tabloid. He stepped down from his years-long post in late 2021 after reaching his retirement age and continued his voicing as the outlet’s special commentator.

Hu’s online profiles now only show him as a senior media person.

Many speculate that this is the result of Hu’s fierce rhetoric over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. 

The Chinese propagandist has a penchant for verbal fighting and would mostly comment on state affairs with a bellicose posture and ferocious warnings. But as Pelosi’s determined trip to Taiwan unfolded, his language only deteriorated people’s taste for his voice.

As usual, Hu sent out dauntless threats. But the rhetoric played little effect. The U.S. House Speaker still set her foot on the self-ruling island and Beijing did not respond as he boasted.

Let’s look at this tweet from a Chinese nationalist as an example. According to the Washington Examiner, he wrote, “if US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is [an] invasion. The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down.”

As a reminder, nothing was shot down.

Internet celebrity commentator Chairman Rabbit on August 3 publicly scolded Hu for his overtones wordings. When China does not act as Hu flaunted, the general public will be disappointed and lose enthusiasm and morale. This in turn undermines the government’s credibility.

Internet researcher Zhou Shuguang tells Radio Free Asia that the Chinese authorities might be using Hu to speak out its rhetorics. But if things didn’t go as expected and the government “loses face,” Hu will be the one to take the blame, a very frequent practice.

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