China declared that its armed forces are on "high alert" and would "launch a series of targeted military actions in response" to the visit to Taiwan of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Insider Paper reported on Tuesday.
"Those who play with fire will perish by it," Beijing’s foreign ministry said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Joe Biden last week in a phone call against "playing with fire" on Taiwan.
While the Biden administration apparently opposed a Taiwan visit, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Pelosi could go where she pleased, saying "there is no reason for Beijing to turn a visit consistent with longstanding U.S. policies into some sort of crisis," Insider Paper reported.
Kirby said U.S. policy was unchanged toward Taiwan.
Moscow said it was "absolutely in solidarity with China," calling the prospect of a Pelosi visit "pure provocation." The last House Speaker to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997.
Beijing has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of catering to Moscow by condemning Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv.
Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the U.S.-based German Marshall Fund think tank, wrote on Twitter that the probability of China choosing war or a serious incident over Pelosi’s visit was "low."
However, she added in her tweet that "the probability that… (China) will take a series of military, economic, and diplomatic actions to show strength and resolve is not insignificant. Likely it will seek to punish Taiwan in myriad ways."
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