OREANDA-NEWS  Stock markets in Asia slid on Tuesday over rising tensions between Beijing and Washington ahead of an expected visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi would be the highest-ranking elected US official to visit the island, which China considers a part of its sovereign territory, in more than 25 years. Beijing warned of “serious consequences” if the trip goes ahead.

The escalation sent the Chinese stock markets tumbling, with the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index falling by about 3% on Tuesday.

Taiwan’s TAIEX slid by more than 2% during the day, while the main indices in Japan, South Korea and Australia shed between 0.5 and 1.6% in morning trading.

Pelosi will reportedly spend Tuesday night in Taiwan as part of her five-leg Asia tour that includes Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.