Underwater Drone Stolen by a Chinese Warship
The underwater drone, stolen by a Chinese warship, was one of two drones the USNS Bowditch had stopped in the water to pick up. After stopping the Chinese vessel, which had been shadowing the Bowditch, lowered a small boat into the water. This Chinese boat then moved along and the crew took one of the drones. The Bowditch went on the radio and told the Chinese it was American property; however, the Chinese did not respond immediately.
After receiving the radio message the Chinese eventually sent their response by indicating they were returning to their own operations. One official said it is common for US oceanography research vessels to be followed in the water. This is because it is assumed that they are there spying. The official said in this case the drone was measuring ocean conditions.
The Pentagon is demanding that China return the drone since it was unlawfully taken. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement, “We call upon China to return our unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) immediately, and to comply with all of its obligations under international law.”
Underwater Drone Seizure Still in Question
It is still unclear why the Chinese seized the drone. However, the situation happened soon after some provocative incidents have taken place since President-elect Donald Trump received a phone from Taiwan’s President congratulating him on his win. This was a direct violation of the US’s agreement with China’s “One China Policy.” China quickly voiced their disapproval of the incident while contacting the White House at the same time.