British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Wednesday summoned China's ambassador to Britain, Zheng Zeguang, to explain Beijing's actions towards Taiwan following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit.
A furious China has extended its largest-ever exercises around the self-ruled island it claims as its own following Pelosi's visit - the highest-level trip to the island by an American official in decades.
"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," Truss said in a statement.
"The United Kingdom urges China to resolve any differences by peaceful means, without the threat or use of force or coercion."
Truss is currently leading the race to become Britain's next prime minister, according to opinion polls.
In a response posted on Twitter after the meeting with senior British officials, the Chinese embassy said Zheng had "firmly rejected & strongly condemned UK side's irresponsible rhetoric about China's legitimate & necessary response to U.S. House Speaker's Taiwan visit".
"No foreign country, UK included, has the right to meddle with the internal affairs of China," the statement said.