China's Navy just seized a U.S. military drone that was underwater in the South China Sea

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Next time, put an Amazon logo on it for plausible deniability.


Huh. Looks like it is doing my dad’s old job, which was mapping waters in the South Pacific during Vietnam on the USS Tanner.


May be US property, but whose waters was it in? If a Chinese drone showed up in SF bay (or some US naval base), do you think the US would give it back?


let’s not conflate the South China Sea with San Francisco Harbor, thanks


If I were to guess, I would say that it’s International waters, but that China claims those waters as territorial waters.

China has been [trying to secure] ( its claimed territory in the South China Sea for quite a while now.


Don’t worry! Drumpf will solve it in 140 characters!


You would say that, but nobody on the internet in China would read you saying it.

I wonder if this gets to be one of those threads with the classic China trolls? Been a while.


Due to the recent UNCLOS decision, they’ve lost that battle in the international courts. Which means they’ll continue destroying reefs/island ecosystems to build landing strips and weapons systems.

I’m sure donald trump will know exactly how to handle that sort of provocation.


I wanted sharks with lasers and I get drones instead? China can keep the damn thing, give me my sharks!


Exxxcellent. Now all they have to do is bring the sub back to their base, and our SEALs will crawl out of it at night and unlock the doors from the inside. Troy China will be ours!!!


It’s ours and we would like it back… ineffectual whining. China is laughing.

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I was thinking about how cool it would be if the drone contained something like Stuxnet, and it was deliberately put in the South China Sea for the Chinese Navy to grab it. Unlikely, but still a cool idea in my books.


They’re also flying nuclear bombers along their “nine-dash-line” map (the map that the UNCLOS acknowledged as unlawful in their recent ruling).

For all Obama’s “no drama”, his coolness and detachment does not strike me as entirely appropriate at the moment. While we don’t know what he’s up to (if anything) in retaliation or mitigation for Chinese and RF provocation, it’d be nice to know something positive was being done.


Didn’t that ship used to be named the Glomar Explorer?


C’mon, Trump’s sick Twitter burns are going to have the Chinese quaking in fear once the State Department hooks him up with a WeChat account so that he can ply his skills on the far size of the Great Firewall…


Nope, it’s a whole lot smaller- less than a tenth the displacement.

Incidentally, the Glomar Explorer was scrapped in China last year.

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Ah - so it’s not engaged in espionage then.

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“Espionage” doesn’t require a label for size–that ship does “routine hydrographic studies” for the U.S. Navy, but it does so in legally traversed waters. Some background reading, written from the US POV (PDF, “Close encounters at sea: The USNS Impeccable Incident” from the Naval War College Review):

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I wonder how many millions will be spent deciding the fate of this $150,000 drone?

Next time send Obi-Wan with the drone.

Doesn’t really matter. Give 'em a week and the Chinese Navy will build five artificial islands around it.