China expressed anger on Friday after the U.S. State Department said it had authorized the sale of two surplus U.S. Navy frigates to Taiwan for $190 million, subject to congressional approval, amid rising tension in the South China Sea.
China considers self-ruled Taiwan a wayward province, to be brought under its
control by force if necessary. Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after the Chinese civil war.
U.S. arms sales to democratic Taiwan always attract strong opposition from Beijing, though they have not ended up causing lasting damage to ties between China and the United States or between China and Taiwan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had lodged a protest with the United States. [FULL STORY]