On Tuesday, China warned the United States that it would “pay the price” if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, as tensions between Beijing and Washington intensify.
“The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Earlier, China threatened that it would take “decisive and effective” measures and that its military would “not stand idly by” if Pelosi decided to visit Taiwan.
On his part, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned that Beijing will be responsible for any crisis or escalation as a result of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday for meetings with the prime minister and the speaker of the lower house of parliament, according to Malaysian state news agency Bernama.
AFP journalists saw her coming out of a hotel in the Malaysian capital and entering an SUV. Her motorcade then departed under heavy security.
After Singapore and Malaysia, her itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan, but the prospect of a trip to Taiwan dominated her attention.
Multiple Taiwanese media outlets carried comments from deputy parliament speaker Tsai Chi-chang saying Pelosi was “very likely” to visit in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the island’s military said it was “determined” to defend it against growing threats from China over Pelosi’s possible visit.
“The likelihood of war or a serious accident is low,” Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the US-based German Marshall Fund think tank, wrote on Twitter.