China seizes US underwater drone in contested South China Sea

China seizes US underwater drone in contested South China Sea

China seizes US underwater drone in contested South China Sea

Written by Charitha Fernando

16 Dec, 2016 | 11:32 pm

A Chinese warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel USNS Bowditch in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal demarche (action by a diplomat) from the United States and a demand for its return, Reuters reported.

The incident had taken place on Dec. 15 northwest of Subic Bay just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned, underwater vehicle (UUV), Reuters citing a US Defence official said.

The seizing of the UUV by the Chinese Navy comes on the heels of US President elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s President, a move foreign policy analysts warned could spark a potentially damaging diplomatic row with China.

Image courtesy: New Eastern Outlook

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