A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal demarche from the United States and a demand for its return, a U.S. defense official told Reuters on Friday.
The drone was about 500 yards from the USNS Bowditch,"an oceanographic survey vessel." The U.S. ship contacted the Chinese ship and asked for the drone, which collects unclassified data, but the Chinese ship, which had brought the glider aboard, left the area, according to the Washington Post.
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometers. (via Wikipedia)
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Also see: Understanding Great Powers Politics in the South China Sea