NANCY Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was like “external forces” colluding with Nicola Sturgeon to split Scotland from the UK, the Chinese government has said.  

The comments from a spokesman came after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned China's missile launches and incursions into Taiwanese waters and air space following the visit of the US Speaker. 

Taiwan has been self-governing since nationalist forces fled there in 1949 after the communists took control of China.

However, Beijing considers it to be a rebel province which should be reunited with the mainland.

Ms Pelosi was the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since the 1990s. The trip went ahead in defiance of Chinese warnings.

Ms Truss said in a statement: “The UK and partners have condemned in the strongest terms China’s escalation in the region around Taiwan, as seen through our recent G7 statement.

“I instructed officials to summon the Chinese ambassador to explain his country’s actions.

“We have seen increasingly aggressive behaviour and rhetoric from Beijing in recent months, which threaten peace and stability in the region.

“The United Kingdom urges China to resolve any differences by peaceful means, without the threat or use of force or coercion.”

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry accused the Tory leadership hopeful of hypocrisy.

He told journalists: “The UK has mischaracterized the facts and made irresponsible remarks on China’s justified, necessary and lawful move to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"China deplores and is firmly against this, and has lodged solemn démarches with the UK side.”

Mr Wenbin said it was the US who had provoked the crisis. 

He said: “The UK turned a blind eye to the US’s provocation and violation while groundlessly criticizing the countermeasures China has taken for the sake of defending justice.

"This is typical double standard. It fully exposes the UK’s hypocrisy stemming from its imperialist past. 

“If the UK truly cares about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, it should condemn the US and the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and stop them from being provocative and playing with fire."

He added: “If Scotland were to collude with external forces and split itself from the UK, would the UK remain calm, show restraint, sit by and watch the situation deteriorate?” 

The SNP's Foreign Affairs correspondent, Alyn Smith, ridiculed the comments. He told The Herald: “Any comparison between Scotland and Taiwan begins, and ends, with our excellent whisky.

"We are otherwise different places on different sides of the world with entirely different histories and contexts.

"Any attempt to politically link the two is sheer mischief-making and the Beijing Foreign Ministry would be better employed apologising for genocide of Uighurs and Tibetans, persecution of Falun Gong and others, odious and illegal bullying behaviour in Hong Kong, and many more offences besides.”