China Seizes U.S. Drone, Tensions Escalate in South Pacific

Sen. John McCain added his voice to Donald Trump’s outrage at China’s illegal seizure of a U.S. underwater drone off the coast of Indonesia from international waters.

China accused the U.S. of ‘overhyping’ the incident. And U.S. officials are not amused by the communist government’s move to escalate tensions in the area.

Here’s more from Newsmax:

China’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday it plans to return an underwater U.S. drone seized this week by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but complained the United States was “hyping up” the incident.

The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory. It prompted the Pentagon to go public with a diplomatic complaint, and drew criticism from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to take a more aggressive approach in dealing with Beijing.

The drone was collecting data about the salinity, temperature and clarity of the water about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay, off the Philippines, and was seized just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve it, U.S. officials said.

. . .

Trump, a Republican who takes office on Jan. 20, weighed into the dispute on Twitter on Saturday.

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act,” Trump said in a tweet early on Saturday from his seaside resort club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where he plans to spend the holidays.

The Pentagon has said the drone was operating lawfully and was clearly marked as U.S. property.

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