China is issuing a stern warning to the U.S. over damage to relations if President Barack Obama's administration proceeds with a possible arms sale to Taiwan.
The Communist Party's flagship People's Daily newspaper in a commentary Friday said U.S. congressmen pushing for a major weapons sale to the island were playing with fire.
China claims the self-governing island as its own territory and objects to all official U.S. contact with the island, especially arms sales. Washington is Taiwan's only major weapons supplier and is bound by U.S. law to ensure the island can defend itself.
The Obama administration is due to announce by Oct. 1 whether to sell Taiwan new F-16 B/C jet fighters or an upgrade for its existing fleet of F-16 A/B jets.