A United States Navy ship has been legally conducting research in the South China Sea for months. The Navy has been using a drone to gather "military oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature and sound speed." The Navy ship is operated by Military Sealift Command along with a contract crew of civilians scientists.
The U.S. ship is not alone, however. Chinese ships have been following the every move of the U.S. vessel. When the Chinese came within a quarter mile of the U.S. Navy vessel, the Chinese launched a smaller boat and took the research team's underwater drone out of the ocean and back to China. The drone is valued at $150,000.
Gordon Chang, and analyst and author of "The Coming Collapse of China", says "This is an act of war against the United States."
U.S. officials with the Pentagon immediately filed a diplomatic complaint against China and issued the following statement: "We call upon China to return our [unmanned underwater vehicle] immediately, and to comply with all of its obligations under international law," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook responded.
While Obama has yet to issue any kind of statement on the incident, President-elect Trump, in true Trump fashion, took to twitter to let the Chinese know he was aware of the seizure of the drone.
Hours after Trump's tweet, Chinese officials said the incident was blown out of proportion and agreed to return the drone. Fox News reported that the incident is likely to add even more tension to an increasingly fragile relationship between the U.S. and China.
"Beijing was angered by President-elect Donald Trump's decision to talk by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2, and by his later comments that he did not feel "bound by a one-China policy" regarding the status of Taiwan, unless the U.S. could gain trade or other benefits from China," reported Fox News.
One thing is certain, while Obama stayed silent, President-elect Trump acknowledged the incident and was public about it. Hours later it was resolved. Coincidence? Maybe. But we believe other nation's will start to respect America more now that Trump is taking the Oval Office.
What do you think about this incident? Watch the full report in the video below.