China to Return Seized U.S. Drone, Says Washington 'Hyping up' Incident

Dec 19 , 2016
   
   

China will return an underwater U.S. drone seized by a naval vessel this week in the South China Sea, both countries said on Saturday, but Beijing complained that Washington had been "hyping up" the incident.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to take an aggressive approach in dealing with China over its economic and military policies, jumped on the unusual drone seizure with a pair of provocative tweets, accusing Beijing of stealing the equipment.

The drone, known as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory. The Pentagon went public with its complaint after the action and said on Saturday it had secured a deal to get the drone back.

"Through direct engagement with Chinese authorities, we have secured an understanding that the Chinese will return the UUV to the United States," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

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