State media have accused US President George W. Bush of playing sordid games and picking up where his father left off with the latest arms sale to Taiwan. It also said the US arms package - the biggest in nearly a decade - would raise tensions across the Taiwan Strait and help the island pursue independence. 'You can see how sordid are the games played by this chip off the old block,' the official Liberation Daily said in a commentary. The Shanghai newspaper claimed the sales were an extension of the 1992 decision by then-president George Bush to sell 150 F-16 fighter jets to the island. The elder Bush made that commitment in the heat of a presidential race which he ultimately lost to Bill Clinton. The latest package of arms that could be sold to Taiwan for as much as US$4 billion (HK$31.1 billion) include Kidd-class destroyers and diesel-electric submarines, but do not include the top-of-the-line Aegis combat radar system with the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers sought by Taipei. 'The Taiwanese are relying on American arms to pursue independence,' the Liberation Daily commentary said. 'This big package of arms sales to Taiwan once again tramples on the 1982 communique,' the newspaper said, referring to the Sino-US accord in which Washington pledged to freeze and gradually reduce weapons sales to Taiwan. But successive administrations have effectively ignored those provisions, focusing on mainland pledges to resolve differences with Taiwan peacefully. More recently, Washington has been worried about the build-up of missiles aimed at Taiwan along the south China coast. Other official newspapers quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that if the US went through with the possible sales, tensions would increase in the Taiwan Strait. But for the most part, the official media did not report the criticisms of the US with screaming headlines. Main newspapers in Beijing and Shanghai gave more prominence to ceremonies in honour of downed pilot Wang Wei, whose fighter jet collided with a US spy plane on April 1 and led to an 11-day stand-off between the two countries. Analysts said China and the United States would ultimately manage to live with their see-sawing relations. 'China will have to live with it,' said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, director of the Hong Kong-based French Centre for Research on Contemporary China. 'China wants to prepare for Bush's visit in October. It has to keep the communications channels open.' President Bush is planning to attend the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, scheduled to be held in Shanghai. If all goes as planned, Mr Bush would also visit Beijing.