Washington/Beijing : China’s Defense Ministry has warned the US that it must withdraw its warships patrolling in the South China Sea or else China will be compelled to take stern steps against the US. At the same time, China has agreed to return the US underwater drone, seized earlier by China, to the US. However, the new President-elect of the US, Donald Trump has requested Obama government to not accept the drone, stolen by China.
The US unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) – the sea drone, was seized by China, at a distance of 50 nautical miles from the Subik Bay port of Philippines. The soldiers of the Coastguard force of China, patrolling in the ‘South China Sea‘ carried out this activity last Thursday. China had avoided to speak on this whole matter. However, late Friday, the US, while disclosing the matter in the media, severely criticized China.
The US has accused that despite the Chinese Navy knowing fully well about the deployment of the drone, China has seized the drone. Moreover, the US navy had also issued warning that the action is a violation of international law and a serious matter. But Chinese Defense Ministry has claimed that Chinese Navy has handled the said matter in a ‘professional’ way.
The Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, Yang Yujun has claimed that their Coastguard soldiers performed their duty while seizing the drone for inspection so as to ensure that the cargo ships and fishing boats passing through the ‘South China Sea’ do not face any danger while navigating. In contrast, the US is spying on China by deploying warships in this maritime territory, alleged the Defense Ministry of China. Further, Yujun has also warned the US that China is keeping strict vigil on these activities of the US. The Chinese Defense Ministry has issued warning that the US should stop these spying activities in the ‘South China Sea’ or else China will be compelled to take necessary steps..
The Chinese Navy has expressed its willingness to return the ‘UUV’ to the US. The US Defense headquarter, Pentagon, has contacted the Chinese Defense Ministry. After that, China agreed to return the underwater drone to the US. But Yujun has accused that the US, in the meantime, unnecessarily tried to blow the matter out of proportion, by trying to present the matter unilaterally in the media. He clarified the China is not pleased with this unilateral stand taken by the US.
Donald Trump has criticized China heavily over this matter. Trump has accused China of stealing the US drone; and has suggested the Obama government that the US should not take back the drone from China and let it be with China only.