President is due to meet Xi Jinping in Hamburg next week amid heightening tensions over US relations with Beijing

The US announcement of a $1.42bn arms sale to Taiwan is a not-so-subtle warning shot across the bows of China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is due to meet Donald Trump for potentially tense bilateral talks at next week’s G20 summit in Hamburg. But Trump’s pre-emptive strike could backfire badly.

Official confirmation of the arms sale, under consideration since January, coincided with Xi’s officiation at an ostentatious military parade in Hong Kong on Friday, celebrating China’s reunification with what until 1997 Beijing regarded as a “renegade province” similar to Taiwan.

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