- The Washington Times - Friday, December 16, 2016

A Chinese warship has seized a U.S. Navy underwater drone in the South China Sea. 

A U.S. defense official told CNN Friday that a Chinese vessel shadowing the USNS Bowditch in the region picked off an American drone roughly 100 miles of the port at Subic Bay on Thursday.

Personnel on the oceanographic research vessel were ignored when they protested via radio in international waters.

The Pentagon declined to comment, although a formal demarche for the drone’s return has been issued.

Thursday’s aggressive move by China in the region spotlights once again the diplomatic powder keg along the Spratlys and Parcels. Numerous nations, including Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan, all have made territorial claims on the islands chains.

China has gone so far to cement its dominance in the region that it created over 2,000 acres of artificial islands in water sometimes up to 300 feet deep.

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