Let China keep US underwater drone it seized: Donald Trump
In yet another swipe at China, President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday said the US should let the Communist giant keep the Navy’s unmanned underwater drone after Beijing agreed to return in an “appropriate manner” the device it had seized in the disputed South China Sea.
“We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back - let them keep it!” Trump tweeted, hours after Pentagon announced it had reached an understanding with China for the return of the drone. The Pentagon had alleged that the drone was unlawfully seized by China on December 15 in the SCS while it was being recovered by a US Navy oceanographic survey ship.
The US lodged a formal diplomatic complaint and demanded the drone back. The incident is among the most serious military confrontations between the two powers for decades. China on Saturday slammed the US for “making a fuss” over the seizure of its underwater drone and said it will return the device in an “appropriate manner”.
Defence Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Yang Yujun dismissed the US allegations, insisting that China seized the underwater glider to ensure the safe navigation of passing ships.
Trump’s latest tweet was the second time the President-elect blasted China for the seizure. Earlier, he accused China of stealing American drone.
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented (sic) act,” Trump tweeted, misspelling unprecedented.
He later reissued the tweet, correcting the spelling. Trump has repeatedly infuriated China in recent weeks, questioning decades-old US policy on Taiwan, making phone call to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and calling Beijing a currency manipulator.