Beijing [China], August 2 (ANI): China has warned the US that it will "pay the price" if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan even as Beijing extended air traffic controls around Xiamen, the coastal city closest to the island, according to media reports.
Tensions have been escalating over Pelosi's visit, who arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday as part of the second leg of her Indo-Pacific tour, according to The Strait Times.
Beijing views Pelosi's visit as a provocation and has issued increasingly severe warnings that have not ruled out a military response.
"What I can tell you is, the US will definitely have to bear responsibility and pay the price for harming China's sovereignty and security interests," foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told a press briefing in Beijing adding that China will take "firm and powerful" measures in response.
"If the US misjudges or handles the situation across the Taiwan Strait incorrectly, it will have catastrophic consequences for the security, prosperity and order of the Taiwan region and the world at large," she said as quoted by The Strait Times.
Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan today, as per reports. She is going to Taiwan with scheduled meetings with government officials at the self-governed island that China threatens to forcefully takeover.
On Monday, China reiterated that it is keeping a close watch on the reports of Pelosi's planned visit and warned of a resolute response and strong countermeasure if she insists on going ahead with the visit to Taipei.
Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun said Beijing will hold military exercises in the South China sea from August 2-6.
Meanwhile, the White House said that Pelosi has the right to visit Taiwan. "If she goes it's not without precedent, it's not new," US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby on Monday said.
Back in April, Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was postponed after she tested positive for COVID-19. At that time, Beijing had resolutely opposed any official exchange between the United States and Taiwan. (ANI)