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$1.7 Billion Sale Angers China

China has called on the United States to avoid...

China has called on the United States to avoid official contact with Taiwan, a day after a U.S. agency approved a US$1.7 billion military radar sale to the island.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Berlin on Wednesday, urged Washington to "oppose Taiwan independence," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Li insisted that Taiwan's presidential elections last month "have not changed the fact that Taiwan is part of China," Xinhua said. It said the foreign minister urged Washington to "refrain from any official contact with the Taiwan authorities."

The report coincided with a Pentagon announcement that Taiwan had been approved to buy a long-range radar system that would detect ballistic or cruise missiles -- a step that could aggravate U.S.-Chinese disagreements over the self-ruled island.