China considers Taiwan its territory and has indicated through repeated warnings that it would view a visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a major provocation.

The plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation touched down at an air force base amid tight security.
The plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation touched down at an air force base amid tight security. (AP)

China has said that the United States will "pay the price" if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan during her Asia trip.

Pelosi was in Malaysia on Tuesday, the second stop in a tour that has sparked rage in Beijing after reports of a potential Taipei visit.

"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, Taiwan's military said it was "determined, capable and confident" it could protect the island against increased threats by China over a potential visit by Pelosi.

"We are meticulously preparing various plans and appropriate troops will be dispatched to respond in accordance with the regulations of emergency situation responses and the threat posed by the enemy," Taipei's defence ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation to touched down at an air force base amid tight security in Kuala Lumpur. 

She called on lower house Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun in Parliament and adjourned for a luncheon meet with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

READ MORE: US Pelosi's 'provocative' Taiwan visit to undermine ties — China

US-China tensions

While there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive in Taipei on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected US official to visit in more than 25 years. 

The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times — Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers — cited unidentified sources as saying she would fly to Taipei and spend the night after visiting Malaysia.

China's threats of retaliation have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.

The White House on Monday decried Beijing's rhetoric, saying the US has no interest in deepening tensions with China and “will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling.”

US officials have said the military would increase its movement of forces and assets in the Indo-Pacific region if Pelosi visits Taiwan.

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group were in the Philippine Sea on Monday, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. The US maintains informal relations and defence ties with Taiwan even as it recognises Beijing as the government of China.

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent, a step US leaders say they don’t support. 

READ MORE: China might militarily interfere in US Pelosi's Taiwan visit — report

Source: TRTWorld and agencies