BEIJING (AP) -- China is threatening sanctions against companies involved in the U.S. government's $1.83 billion sale of navy frigates and other military equipment to Taiwan.
The threat was included in a formal protest delivered late Wednesday by Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang to Washington's second-highest ranking diplomat in Beijing.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry said Zheng issued a formal diplomatic protest and said the arms sales severely harmed China's sovereignty and security interests.
Zheng said China would take all necessary measures to defend its national interests, including sanctioning the arms firms involved in the sale.
China considers Taiwan a part of Chinese territory to be eventually unified with, by force if necessary. It has stridently protests all arms sales to the self-governing island, as well as threatened firms involved.