"The US plan will definitely undermine China-US relations and bring about serious negative impact on exchange and co-operation in major areas between the two countries," he said, adding that "China strongly urges the US side to fully recognise the gravity of the issue, revoke the erroneous decision on arms sales to Taiwan and stop selling any weapons to Taiwan".

Renegade province

In 2008, China suspended most military dialogue with Washington after the administration of George Bush, the former president, approved a $6.5bn arms package to Taiwan that included guided missiles and attack helicopters.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has vowed to bring the island eventually back under mainland rule, by force if necessary.

The US government, on the other hand, is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act which obliges Washington to ensure the island is capable of responding to Chinese threats, and to sell defensive weapons to it.

Wang said that the weapons deal violated the 1982 communique between China and the United States, which said the arms sales to Taiwan "will not exceed, in qualitative or in quantitative terms," the level in the years before that.

Philip Crowley, a state department spokesman, said that the arms sales were consistent with the three key communiques between the United States and China when they normalised relations.