U.S. officials say China stole a U.S. Navy underwater drone in the South China Sea. Officials say it happened at the same moment the USNS Bowditch, a survey ship, was about to retrieve it.
The Hill reports the incident happened Thursday around noon local time in international waters off the coast of the Philippines. U.S. officials told The Hill a Chinese ship was following the Bowditch and dropped a boat into the water and grabbed the drone. The Bowditch crew called the Chinese crew and asked for the drone back -- the Chinese ship confirmed they received the message, but sailed away with the drone.
Chinese officials say the islands in the South China Sea are China's territory. They say what they did to the drone fits under international law and China was acting on its own territory at the time -- it has nothing to do with militarisation.