SHANGHAI: China major stock indexes slumped on Tuesday, as tensions between Washington and Beijing mounted on news U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan during the day.
Selling was broad-based. The CSI300 index fell 1.4% to 4,129.73 points at 2:03 GMT, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.7% to 3,205.98 points.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 2.5%, to 19,660.96 points.
Pelosi, who began an Asia trip earlier on Monday in Singapore, was due to spend Tuesday night in Taiwan, three people briefed on the matter said, as the United States said it wouldn't be intimidated by Chinese threats to never "sit idly by" if she made the trip to the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.
China's actions could include firing missiles near Taiwan, large-scale air or naval activities, or further "spurious legal claims" such as Beijing's assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not an international waterway, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.,
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Stocks dropped across the board, with real estate developers , energy, infrastructure, automobiles down more than 2% each.
Defence shares, however, edged up on the escalating tensions.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that a potential visit to Taiwan by Pelosi would be entirely her decision, but called on China not to escalate tensions in the event of a visit.
Kirby also said that nothing about Pelosi's possible trip changed U.S. policy toward Taiwan.
Tech giants listed in Hong Kong tumbled more than 3%, hit by a double whammy of rising geopolitical anxiety and lingering regulatory concerns.
The U.S. public company accounting regulator said it will not accept any restrictions on its access to the audit papers of Chinese companies listed in New York. - Reuters