19 Dec '16, 11am

China’s US drone seizure may signal expansion of its claims in the South China Sea https://t.co/DBcSP5w7vM

China’s capture of a Navy underwater drone in front of the USNS Bowditch last week continued an emerging South China Sea tradition: a Chinese face-off with an unarmed U.S. vessel during a White House transition. An order directed toward the Bowditch in 2001 by a Chinese frigate created a diplomatic and military stir, as did a gaggle of ships surrounding the USNS Impeccable in 2009. However, Thursday’s incident carried a broader message, suggesting that China’s disputed claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea might be expanded even more. China hasn’t denied the Pentagon’s assertion that a Dalang III-class salvage ship seized the oceanographic drone about 50 nautical miles from the Philippines. The location puts it within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, in international waters. Yet China’s state-controlled media has labeled the drone’s position as within C...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/news/china-s-us-drone-seizure-may-...

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