Chinese Navy Captures U.S. Underwater Drone in South China Sea

Samrang Pring/Reuters

A Chinese navy ship is seen docked after an exercise with Cambodian naval officers in Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia February 26, 2016.

China’s navy captured an unmanned, underwater U.S. Navy vehicle in the international waters of the South China Sea, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Reuters on Friday. The underwater drone was “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,” Reuters reported. The incident took place Dec. 15, northwest of Subic Bay, shortly before an oceanographic survey ship, the USNS Bowditch, was set to retrieve the vessel from the sea.