The ships of the Chinese Navy captured underwater drone sent by the American Oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China sea, reports Reuters, citing a source in the Pentagon.
According to him, the incident happened on December 15 to the North-West from the base of Subic Bay (Subic Bay) in the Philippines, when the research ship of the U.S. Navy “Bowditch” was preparing to pick up the drone. The machine was the property of the United States under sovereign immunity, and under the unclassified program collecting scientific data, said the Agency interlocutor.
As the source said to CNN, an American ship stopped to pick up two unmanned, but at this point with the Chinese ship that chased the “Bowditch”, was launched a small boat and her crew captured one of the drones.
According to the interlocutor of the channel, the Americans got no answer when tried on radio to tell the Chinese about the ownership of the apparatus of the United States.
The US, through diplomatic channels, sent a protest to China, according to Reuters. In particular, it requires the immediate return of the device. China, according to the Agency, the protest received, but not yet answered it.
Dispute of China with neighboring countries in the South China sea are the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands. The Chinese have created in the disputed archipelagos of artificial Islands and deployed their weapons. The actions of Beijing have criticized claiming the Islands of Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and supporting US. In September, President Barack Obama urged Beijing not to “Flex its muscles” in the settlement of territorial disputes.
July 12 the permanent court of Arbitration in the Hague has recognized unreasonable claims of China in the disputed waters. In the Hague also stressed that the construction of the Beijing artificial Islands causes irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem. However, Beijing said that do not accept and do not recognize the decision of the international arbitration.