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Hong Kong (CNN)As a US Air Force jet carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approached Taiwan on Tuesday night, expectations ran high in China over how Beijing would respond.

Since reports emerged that the key US lawmaker would visit Taiwan during an Asia tour, conversation in China had churned with nationalist furor and amped-up rhetoric on what the leadership could do about it.
Beijing had earlier threatened Washington that those who "play with fire" over Taiwan would "perish," and warned the US against crossing a "red line," saying the Chinese military would "not sit idly by" if Pelosi visited the self-governing island, which China's Communist Party claims as its territory, despite never having controlled it.
    Voices outside the government, including former Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, had been more direct, saying China could take military action against Pelosi's plane -- raising the public's expectations of a showdown.
      Instead, Pelosi and her congressional delegation landed on the tarmac in Taipei's Songshan Airport, where they were greeted in a live-streamed welcome by Taiwanese officials while the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper flashed "US-Taiwan friendship forever" in brightly lit text and crowds, of both supporters and protesters, gathered outside Pelosi's hotel to await her arrival.Read MoreMilitary drills drum home Chinas relentless message in the Taiwan StraitAs Taiwan rolled out the red carpet, China's government ministries fired off a raft of condemnations, while its military pledged to launch extensive, multiday military exercises, and on Thursday fired missiles over the island -- a first for China. But China's initial actions stopped short of what was expected by some of its domestic audience.And within China's online sphere, where nationalistic voices dominate its highly censored social media, disappointment was high.
        "I don't know where to hang my head. This is so shameful. People outside the Great Firewall are laughing their heads off. (China's) literally a 'paper tiger,'" wrote one user on China's Twitter-like Weibo social media platform. Others asked why there was so much hype for so little action.But in the days since, a reckoning, and a reset, have been unfolding in China. In an attempt to reverse the dissatisfaction, state media have mobilized to drum up support for China's response, portraying its military drills as strong and "unprecedented." Social media platforms have been inundated with news of those exercises, and other voices in the public arena have lauded China for what they call a successful, strategic response and decried what they saw as warmongering.Resetting the narrativeOne target for this pushback has been Hu, the former editor of state-backed tabloid Global Times, seen as a key voice revving up nationalist sentiment in recent days.On Thursday, the influential "Chairman Rabbit" account on messaging platform WeChat, run by blogger Ren Yi, said China's actions had matched the tone conveyed by the government, but not the predictions of the former Global Times editor. "The Chinese government has indeed formulated very strong and proud countermeasures, which have been very successful in handling this issue of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan," said the post."As a result (of Hu's remarks), on the evening of August 2, when the Chinese government and official media solemnly announced the military exercises and series of countermeasures against Taiwan, netizens did not cheer for these unprecedentedly powerful measures, nor did they feel the unprecedented high morale, great excitement from people's hearts, or the boiling patriotic sentiment," the post said.China fires missiles over Taiwan for first time as Beijing retaliates against Pelosi visitAnother popular online commentator, Geng Xiangshun, said the public's patriotism was "very good," but calls for war were unwise -- though he did not mention Hu."You must know that the ultimate goal is to realize the reunification of the motherland at the minimum cost, not to start a war," he wrote on his Weibo account.Hu defended himself in a post on Thursday, saying his "heavy words" had value in influencing discussion around Pelosi's visit, including in Washington, adding the "patriotic camp" should have "diverse" voices.As these conversations played out, some social media users appeared to rethink their disappointment, with one writing Thursday evening that the decision makers were actually "wise" and "logical.""Now I understand," one user said in a post with thousands of likes.'Rational patriots'But the apparent need to ease disappointment and promote China's response also highlights the risks leader Xi Jinping has taken in stoking nationalistic feelings."Nationalism has grown under Xi Jinping, because Xi continuously uses this for his purpose, to advance his agenda, but I don't think he ever understood the negative side, because he thinks he can stir nationalism, but also stop it," said Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.Blinken says he hopes Beijing will not manufacture a crisis after Pelosis visit to TaiwanHowever, on this occasion, Beijing appears to have brought the narrative back under control, while Hu has become a scapegoat for stirring up nationalist sentiment, Wu said. "'Wolf warriors' sometimes need to pay the price," Wu said, using a common term for Beijing's combative, nationalist opinion leaders and diplomats.
          Asked on Wednesday about the initial online backlash over China's response, Assistant Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying gave a telling response."We have full confidence in the ability of our country and our government to firmly defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Hua said. "The Chinese people are rational patriots."

          News Source: CNN

          Tags: china’s response pelosi’s visit the public’s response the chinese government the chinese government social media platform military exercises military drills visit to taiwan against pelosi the government missiles over its military on thursday over taiwan outside

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          I went from size 28 to size 12 & lost 11 stone in a year – now I’ve changed my life for the better

          “Standing on the Cornish seafront, I stared out across the water, tears rolling down my face.

          "My dad had shown me a photo he’d just taken of me, and I couldn’t believe that was what I looked like.

          4Victoria Starkey lost an incnredibe 11 stone in a year 4Victoria said: 'My dad had shown me a photo he’d just taken of me, and I couldn’t believe that was what I looked like' 4Victoria says she found love with boyfriend Alfie, pictured in Barcelona on their first holiday together

          Aged 20 and 5ft 8in, I weighed almost 23st – and looking at that photo, it hit me for the first time how overweight I’d become.

          Despite never being given lots of sweets or junk food, I was always a big child, and from around age seven I was very aware I wasn’t like other girls.

          As I got older, I felt like there was something wrong with me, so I began secretly bingeing on crisps and chocolate.

          It became a vicious circle of self-loathing and overeating.

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          Any time my mum Mandy, now 58 – who must have suspected what was going on – gently asked if I was OK, I’d shut down.

          By the time I was 14, I was wearing size-18 women’s clothes. I had good friends, but never a boyfriend, and while other girls dressed in jeans and crop tops, I hid under baggy tracksuits.

          In 2016, I left school to study childcare at college and my secret bingeing escalated.

          The bigger I got, the more reclusive I became, and I lost friendships because I stopped going out.

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          Things got even worse in 2018, when I started working at a local nursery and would spend almost all my wages on food.

          At lunchtime I’d eat a packed lunch, plus an extra sandwich, crisps and three chocolate bars, then stop at McDonald’s on the way home for two cheeseburgers, before an evening meal of meat and veg with Mum and my dad Chris, 60.

          Later, in my room, I’d scoff huge amounts of crisps, biscuits and chocolate, hiding the packaging down the side of my bed.

          Once a week, I’d sneak the wrappers out and put them in a neighbour’s bin. 

          Well aware how unhealthy my binge eating had become, I tried diet after diet, including WW, Slimming World, SlimFast and tea diets, but I could never stick to any and would soon fall back into my old habits.

          Then in summer 2021, I was on holiday in Newquay, Cornwall, with my parents when that photo finally pushed me to do something.

          That night I cried to Mum that I wanted gastric surgery – because I had so much weight to lose, I didn’t think there was any other option. 

          Mum told me about her cousin, who’d lost 4st on the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.

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          On New Year’s Eve, I even got dressed up in a blazer and jeans and headed out with my friend Lauren, no longer wanting to hide away in my bedroom. 

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          His name was Alfie and he was a 20-year-old salesman.

          We started dating and a month after meeting I showed him photos of me at my biggest, because I wanted him to understand the journey I was on.

          By Christmas, I’d shed an incredible 5st, taking me to 17st and a size 18, down from a size 28, which felt great.

          Victoria Starkey

          While he was stunned, he said he felt like he’d struck gold meeting me.

          In May this year I joined a gym, where I work out regularly and also see a personal trainer once a week. 

          I used to get tired just walking up the stairs at home, but now I enjoy going on six-mile walks! 

          Just over a year after I started, I hit my goal weight of 11st 11lb and am now a size 12.

          In August, Alfie whisked me away for a romantic weekend in Barcelona and it felt surreal to be on a mini-break with my boyfriend, wearing shorts and vests.

          For so long I’d believed I’d be single, overweight and secretly binge eating in my bedroom forever.

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          • To find out more about the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, visit
          4Victoria with her parents, sister and niece

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