Chinese warship seized Navy underwater drone, US says

Dec 17, 2016, 00:13
Chinese warship seized Navy underwater drone, US says

He said this may be the first time in recent history that China has taken a usa naval vessel.

The incident is the latest in an increasingly tense relationship between China and the U.S.

"It is ours, and it is clearly marked as ours and we would like it back". But the incident is likely to fray the already tense relations between USA and China.

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Maybus cited a "growing China" as one of the reasons that the Navy needed to expand its fleet to 355 ships, including 12 carriers, 104 large surface combatants, 38 amphibious ships and 66 submarines. It also comes in the wake of Donald Trump's post-election victory call to Taiwan, which angered China and violated the US's "One China policy".

"This move, if accurately reported, is highly escalatory, and it is hard to see how Beijing will justify it legally", Rapp-Hooper said. The vehicle is an unclassified "ocean glider" system used around world to gather data on salinity, water temperature and sound speed.

Such data can help inform USA military sonar data, since sound is affected by such factors.

Davis said the USNS Bowditch, a civilian U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship operated by the military's Sealift Command, was recovering two of the gliders about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay near the Philippines when the Chinese ship approached.

According to the Washington Post, the drone was around 500 yards from the USS Bowditch when China seized it. Naturally, the U.S.is demanding the return of the glider, which was a sovereign immune vessel marked as usa property.

As they turned away, the Chinese did come up on the radio and indicated they were returning to their own operations.

The Pentagon said it has has issued a formal complaint, or demarche, demanding that the drone be returned.

Davis said he could not recall another time when something like this has happened, and the Pentagon issued a statement calling on Beijing to "immediately" return the probe that it had "unlawfully seized".

"Basic norms of worldwide relations should be observed, not ignored, certainly not be seen as something you can trade off", Ambassador Cui Tiankai, speaking to executives of top USA companies, said on Wednesday.

Chinese government-controlled media has made clear its intentions to intimidate the United States out of a role in Asia entirely. The president-elect broke with decades of US policy in accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen earlier this month.

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