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Beijing is “positioning itself” to respond to a potential visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with “military provocations,” such as firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait or breaching Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Monday.

Why it matters: Kirby did not confirm Pelosi’s travel plans, but Taiwanese and international outlets have confirmed that she’s expected to arrive on Tuesday night local time. China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday repeated its threat of “serious consequences” if Pelosi does stop in Taipei.

“The potential visit, if made, will be a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trample on the One China Principle, and undermine U.S.-China relations. It will lead to a very serious… consequences,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. He added that China’s military will “never sit idly by” and will take “strong and resolute measures.”China has already announced military exercises in the South China Sea from Tuesday to Saturday. Context: Beijing has vowed to take control of the self-governing island, by force if necessary, and reacts furiously to any gestures that seem to treat Taiwan as an independent state.

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