Pentagon: China to return US underwater drone

Chinese defense ministry says device seized to ensure 'safe navigation of passing ships'

Pentagon: China to return US underwater drone

World Bulletin / News Desk

China has agreed to return an American underwater drone a Chinese warship captured in the South China Sea, U.S. Defense Department said Saturday.

"We have registered our objection to China's unlawful seizure of a U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle operating in international waters in the South China Sea,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

“Through direct engagement with Chinese authorities, we have secured an understanding that the Chinese will return the UUV to the United States."

Cook’s statement came after China’s Defense Ministry announcement that it would return the drone it seized to ensure the “safe navigation of passing ships”.

Yang Yujun, a ministry spokesman, issued a statement Saturday saying that after verifying that the device was an American unmanned drone, “China decided to transfer it to the U.S. through appropriate means.”

The U.S. Navy ocean glider was collecting oceanographic data when it was seized by a Dalang Class Chinese ship 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, according to the Pentagon.

In May, the Pentagon sent a warship through the South China Sea to challenge China's maritime claims on artificial islands it built there.

Beijing scrambled jets and deployed its own vessels to challenge the U.S. ship, but no violent confrontation occurred.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2016, 01:17