China decides to return seized underwater drone to US Published: 2016/12/17 22:31:53

China has decided to return a US underwater drone seized by a Chinese warship during a security check in the South China Sea, a defense ministry spokesman said on Saturday.

China will transfer the drone to the US “in an appropriate manner”, said Yang Yujun, spokesman of the Chinese defense ministry.

A Chinese navy rescue ship found an unidentified apparatus in the South China Sea on Thursday. The rescue ship examined the apparatus to prevent it causing harm to navigation safety, said Yang.

Yang said the navy had identified the apparatus to be an unmanned underwater drone after the examination and decided to transfer it to the US.

A Chinese military source confirmed with the Global Times that they received on Saturday a “claim request” from the US for the underwater drone.

According to a Reuters report, the request was made after the Chinese navy seized the drone Thursday, about 80 kilometers northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve it.

The Pentagon had confirmed the incident at a news briefing Friday and said the drone used commercially-available technology and sold for about $150,000, Reuters reported.


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