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China Seizes US Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea

U.S. Navy Long-Endurance Underwater Drone. Image-U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy Long-Endurance Underwater Drone. Image-U.S. Navy

On December 15th, a warship with the Chinese Navy seized a U.S. naval underwater drone from international waters northwest of Subic Bay in the South China Sea, it was announced by Washington.

The U.S. has formal demarche, including a demand that the unmanned vehicle, which was part of an unclassified program measuring water temperature and salinity levels, be returned after it was taken about 50 miles off the western coast of the Philippines.

The Chinese seized the drone Thursday just before a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship, the USS Bowditch, and its civilian crew were set to retrieve it.

Although China has acknowledged the demarche and demand, they have yet to respond to it.