Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed grave concern about Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s US visit [Lajos Soos/MTI via AP]

China has said it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2bn to self-ruled Taiwan, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning Washington “not to play with fire”

The planned weapons sale, the first transfer of big-ticket US military gear to democratically-governed Taiwan in decades, came as ties between Washington and Beijing are already strained by their trade war.

“The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement on Friday.

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“In order to safeguard national interests, China

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