China ‘seizes US vessel’ in S China Sea

China ‘seizes US vessel’ in S China Sea

China ‘seizes US vessel’ in S China Sea

Written by Ranee Mohamed

17 Dec, 2016 | 9:43 am

The US has issued a formal request to China to deliver an unmanned underwater drone that was seized in international waters, US officials say.

The Chinese navy seized the US underwater research vessel in the South China Sea on Thursday, the US alleges.

The incident took place just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve it.

The device, dubbed an “ocean glider”, was used to test water salinity and temperature, officials say.

The data was part of an unclassified programme to map underwater channels, Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis told reporters.

“It was taken” by China, Capt Davis said during a press briefing on Friday.

“The UUV [unmanned underwater vehicle] was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea”,

“It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was US property”m he added.

 

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