Pentagon demands China to return 'unlawfully seized' underwater drone
New York [USA], Dec. 17 (ANI): The Pentagon has asked China to return an "unlawfully seized" underwater drone after a Chinese warship took the device from waters near a US oceanographic vessel.
"We call upon China to return our UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle) immediately, and to comply with all of its obligations under international law," the CNN quoted Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook as saying in a statement.
According to the official, the USNS Bowditch was sailing about 100 miles off the Philippine port at Subic Bay when the incident occurred.
Bowditch had stopped in the water to pick up two underwater drones. At that point a Chinese naval ship that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat into the water. That small boat came up alongside and the Chinese crew took one of the drones.
The US got no answer from the Chinese on the radio when it said the drone was American property, the official said.
As they turned away, the Chinese did come up on the radio and indicated they were returning to their own operations.
US oceanographic research vessels are often followed in the water under the assumption they are spying. In this case, however, the drone was simply measuring ocean conditions, the official said.
This comes as China was infuriated after US President-elect Donald Trump received a congratulatory call from Taiwan's President, a violation of the US's agreement with China's "One China policy". (ANI)