China has issued a warning to the U.S. that it will suffer “all possible consequences” if a planned visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes place during an upcoming trip to Asia. 

On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that China remains adamantly opposed to all forms of formalized interactions between the U.S. and Taiwan. Any visit by a U.S. congressional delegation led by Pelosi would fall under this category. 

"If the United States insists on having its own way, China will take strong measures in response to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," said Zhao. 

"All possible consequences that arise from this will completely be borne by the U.S. side," he added.

Pelosi has not confirmed whether she will be visiting Taiwan during an upcoming trip to Asia, but the Twitter account for the island’s ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT) has announced that it is eager to receive her. The KMT expressed its hopes “to exchange views on matters of mutual interests during the visit.” 

The last time a U.S congressional delegation visited Taiwan was in 1997 when House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrived in the aftermath of a crisis with Beijing over discontent with what it perceived to be Taipei’s growing desire for independence. During that visit, Gingrich claimed to have told Chinese officials that the U.S. "will defend Taiwan. Period."

Pelosi, for her part, has been critical of China for its treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minorities as well as its crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. She has lent her support to President Joe Biden’s efforts to focus on competition with China and it is expected to feature heavily in her Asia trip, which includes visits to cautious allies like Japan

Relations between the U.S. and China have been strained by outstanding disagreements over trade, human rights, and technological competition. More recently, ties have been worsened by Russia’s war in Ukraine with Washington pressing Beijing to refrain from extending any economic lifelines to Moscow. China has supported Russia against U.S. accusations, but it has taken pains to remain neutral.