Saturday, 17 December 2016

China seizes US naval probe in South China Sea

Update 20 Dec 2016: 3 maps explain China’s real goal in the South China Sea
There’s been a lot of media hype over China’s ongoing military buildup in the South China Sea. But as always, the truth lies beyond the headlines

Chinese action has so far been largely contained to two island groups: the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands.

It’s true that China has indeed been building largely on these island groups—constructing harbors, runways, helipads, and radar facilities, and installing missile defense systems.


However, these facilities are defensive in nature. They are meant to extend China’s reach further past its coastline.

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China returns seized US underwater drone


The Chinese government has returned the US underwater drone it seized last week in the South China Sea, according to Chinese and US officials.

"After friendly consultations between China and the United States, the transfer of the US underwater drone was smoothly completed," a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defense said.

The Pentagon said the United States would continue to investigate the "unlawful" seizure, which took place in international waters about 50 miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines.

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China returns US navy’s drone while SAF’s armoured vehicles remain seized


A US Navy buoyancy glider similar to one seized by Chinese forces. Picture credit: US Navy Photo

The Chinese government has returned to the United States of America (US) an underwater drone which it seized in the South China Sea five days ago. A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defence said, “After friendly consultations between China and the United States, the transfer of the US underwater drone was smoothly completed.”

Meanwhile, the Singapore Armed Forces’ Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles which were seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department remains detained in an enclosed area. The SAF previously said that they were not provided formal reasons about why the vehicles have been detained. The shipping company engaged by SAF to transport the vehicles from a military exercise in Taiwan to Singapore had 3 unsuccessful meetings with the Chinese authorities to try and secure the release of the vehicles.

The Chinese government lodged representations to Singapore reiterating its “One-China” policy after their customs seized the armoured vehicles.

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Drone incident hints at new tension in South China Sea

Beijing and Washington have recently handled a maritime incident in a low-profile and proper way as the Chinese navy handed back an American underwater drone it had captured in the South China Sea. But worries over potential conflicts in the waters in 2017 remain. Given that the US under Donald Trump could ratchet up pressure on China with "freedom of navigation" in the region, feasible and assuring measures to manage and control disparities between China and the US appear to be necessary.

The drone, an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) able to carry sensors and weapons, is meant to help the US Navy enhance the awareness of the battleground. The Pentagon has iterated that they need to advance undersea warfare capabilities, which therefore leads Beijing to suspect the objectives of the device as more than "scientific research." Besides, the South China Sea has seen an increasing number of the elusive devices deployed by the US Navy. From time to time, Chinese fishermen have spotted such devices.

The US claimed the incident took place in the alleged "international waters," which ignores the international law - the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea provides no definition for such catchphrase. The US also doesn't seek approvals from littoral countries for its military activities conducted within their exclusive economic zone.

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Why China’s Seizure Of US Navy Drone Set A Dangerous Precedent



Vessels roam the waters of the East China Sea during a naval exercise, October 19, 2012. The Chinese navy conducted a joint exercise in the East China Sea with the country's fishery administration and marine surveillance agency on Friday. 11 vessels, eight planes and more than 1000 personnels took part in the drill, according to local reports. REUTERS/China Daily

The Chinese navy’s unlawful seizure of a U.S. naval underwater drone and America’s muted reaction may be setting a dangerous precedent.

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy warship seized a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater vehicle in the South China Sea last Thursday. The device was taken in the presence of a U.S. naval oceanographic vessel attempting to retrieve it. While the seizure occurred in the highly-contested South China Sea, the Pentagon reported that both the drone and the accompanying ship were operating legally in international waters.

The Department of State and the Pentagon protested the illegal seizure and demanded its return. The unmanned device was returned Tuesday



China says it's giving the US its ocean drone back, so stop 'hyping' the incident


China said Saturday it would return a US naval probe seized in international waters, as it slammed the "hyping" of the incident as "inappropriate and unhelpful."

The unmanned underwater vehicle was taken around 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines late on Thursday, according to the Pentagon, which called the capture unlawful and demanded its immediate return.

The incident comes amid escalating tensions between China and the United States, with President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly infuriating Beijing by questioning longstanding US policy on Taiwan, calling Beijing a currency manipulator and threatening Chinese imports with punitive tariffs.

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Beijing Says US Regularly Spy in Its Waters

China brought up on Monday the case of the American drone captured in the South China Sea to denounce the fact that Pentagon ships and aircraft regularly enter its territorial waters for surveillance activities.

“U.S. ships and aircraft have been carrying out close reconnaissance and surveillance activities” in “China’s coastal waters,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying and urged Washington to put a stop to these activities.

According to Beijing, these activities have been going on for a long time and endanger navigation security of the area.

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The Chinese ‘red line’ in Asia that could spark a war
In 1996 the USS Independence was part of two carrier battlegroups sent to the South China Sea to monitor Chinese military activity in the area. Photo: Reuters

The South China Sea — despite all of the controversy, so-called “historical claims” and the growing chances of blood being spilled over it — is the beating heart of Asia’s economy.

The rationale for such a statement is straightforward. This vital part of the global commons, home to some US$5.3 trillion in seaborne trade, is the world’s richest shipping route, carrying critical natural resources that power China, Japan, South Korea and many other Asian economies.

Economics demand that the South China Sea is a strategic waterway of the upmost importance. From massive island building and militarization of such features by Beijing, Washington’s freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS), to nations like Vietnam who are working to reinforce and militarize their own claims, what has been dubbed “Asia’s Cauldron” will certainly remain one of the Asia-Pacific’s great hotspots for years to come.

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China accuses US of 'hyping-up' seizure of underwater drone


China has accused the US of "hyping-up" an incident in which its navy seized a US underwater drone in international waters in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon said the drone was being used to carry out scientific research and must be returned - and warned China that this must not happen again.

It later said it had "secured an understanding" with the Chinese on the return of the vessel.

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Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 9 hours ago




We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!






Donald Trump accuses China of 'unpresidented' act over US navy drone


Donald Trump speaks at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump has risked further inflaming US relations with China, after he used Twitter on Saturday to accuse China of an “unpresidented [sic] act” in its seizing of an unmanned American submarine this week.

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act,” Trump said, misspelling “unprecedented”.

The tweet was later reissued with the correct spelling of “unprecedented”. The tweet containing the error was deleted.

Trump: China Can Keep The Drone They Stole
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

President-elect Donald Trump criticized China Saturday for unlawfully seizing a U.S. naval research drone operating legally in international waters in the South China Sea.

Trump called China’s theft of U.S. naval equipment “unprecedented” in a tweet posted early Saturday.

The Pentagon announced Friday that a Chinese naval vessel shadowing a U.S. Navy oceanographic vessel conducting routine operations in the South China Sea seized a naval unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).


In tweet, Trump says China can keep seized Navy drone

President-elect Donald Trump said in a tweet Saturday night that China should keep the US Navy drone it seized in the South China Sea.

China seized the underwater drone late this week, and Chinese authorities have promised to return the vessel in an “appropriate manner.” The United States has said the drone was being used to test water conditions.

Saturday night Trump tweeted, “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back. - let them keep it!”

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China fights back against Trump and accuses America of 'hyping up' stolen drone controversy after President-elect called it an 'unpresidented act' in misspelled tweet

China has accused the US of 'hyping up' its seizure of a US Navy drone just hours after Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric against the country.

Trump took to Twitter on early Saturday morning to lash out at China for seizing the unmanned drone two days ago in the South China Sea.

'China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented (sic) act,' Trump wrote in a misspelled tweet.

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Donald Trump wades into diplomatic crisis with China again - but gets his spelling wrong with 'unpresidented' tweet




Donald Trump has risked pouring more fuel on America's diplomatic row with China with his latest tweet Credit: AP

Donald Trump yesterday accused China of "unpresidented" action in its capture of a US drone, risking inflaming a diplomatic crisis that both sides had been seeking to play down.

China said it would return the US Navy's unmanned underwater glider, which it seized on Thursday, "in an appropriate manner" after behind the scenes talks with the US, which had lodged a formal complaint over the seizure.

But it warned against the "hyping up" of the incident, which it said was "not beneficial", a few hours after the president-elect sent out a misspelled tweet accusing China of theft of the vessel.


China hits back over seized US Navy drone after Donald Trump tweet

Beijing hit back in the diplomatic spat over its seizure of a US Navy drone in the South China Sea after Donald Trump claimed in a message on Twitter that China has stolen the device.

Chinese officials had earlier indicated there would be a “smooth” resolution of the diplomatic incident, but after the President-elect’s tweet, they accused Washington of “hyping up” the issue.

The drone's seizure, which followed Mr Trump's call with the president of Taiwan, was described as one of the most serious diplomatic incidents between the two nations in recent memory.

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China says it seized US Navy drone to ensure safety of ships

China said Saturday its military seized a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider in the South China Sea to ensure the "safe navigation of passing ships," but would give back the drone after determining it was an American device.

The United States later confirmed it had "secured an understanding" for the return, seeming to settle one of the most serious incidents between the two militaries in years.

The Chinese navy on Thursday seized the drone, which the Pentagon said was being operated by civilian contractors to conduct oceanic research. The U.S. lodged a formal diplomatic complaint and demand the drone back.

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U.S. to China: Return Our Sea Drone

China seized a U.S. Navy underwater drone in the South China Sea and the Pentagon demanded it back, raising a new point of tension between U.S. and Chinese military forces in the disputed waters as relations between the countries enter uncharted territory.

“It’s ours, it was clearly marked, we want it back, and we don’t want this to happen again,” said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

The incident on Thursday occurred days after President-elect Donald J. Trump raised China’s ire by suggesting his administration could abandon a bedrock agreement on Taiwan’s status that has kept peace in the area for decades. Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. would maintain its position on Taiwan only if China makes concessions to American interests came after he broke decades of diplomatic protocol by accepting a phone call from Taiwan’s president, hitting one of Beijing’s most sensitive issues.

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China says issue over seized US underwater drone to be resolved smoothly

China has seized "unidentified" equipment it found in the South China Sea, the influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Saturday, a day after US officials said a Chinese warship had taken a US underwater drone.

The Global Times cited a Chinese military source as saying Beijing believed the incident involving the U.S. drone, which triggered a formal diplomatic protest & a demand for its return, would be resolved "smoothly".

It said the equipment, which US officials said was deployed by an American oceanographic vessel, was checked to prevent any navigational issues in the disputed waters.


Pentagon: Chinese naval ship seized an unmanned U.S. underwater vehicle in South China Sea
This file aerial view taken on July 27, 2012 shows part of the city of Sansha on the island of Yongxing, also known as Woody island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province. (AFP/Getty)

A Chinese naval ship seized an underwater naval drone that was being used by the U.S. Navy to test water conditions in the South China Sea, the Pentagon said Friday.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the incident occurred on Dec. 15 about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay, in international waters in the South China Sea.

The USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey vessel with a mostly civilian crew, was in the process of recovering two unmanned ocean gliders, which are used to collect information about water conditions that can help U.S. vessels operate. A Chinese ship, a Dalang-III class submarine rescue vessel, approached the area, coming within about 500 yards of the Bowditch before dropping a small boat in the water. It seized one of the gliders and brought it aboard, Davis said.

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Pentagon Demands China Return an Intercepted U.S. Naval Drone

The Pentagon demanded that China return a U.S. Navy underwater drone captured in international waters in the South China Sea, a confrontation likely to exacerbate tensions in a region where China is asserting greater control and expanding military installations.

China unlawfully seized the small unmanned vehicle Thursday while the USNS Bowditch, a U.S. Navy survey ship, was collecting it in a routine operation 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, according to a Defense Department statement.

While the motive for the move wasn’t immediately clear, some analysts said it may have been a response to comments criticizing China from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Regardless of the reason, the capture marked a departure from past Chinese behavior because it occurred well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

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China stole US underwater drone in South China Sea as Americans watched

A Chinese Navy ship stole an American underwater research drone while a U.S. crew was watching, in a South China Sea area contested by the Chinese and the Philippines, U.S. defense officials told Fox News on Friday.


The incident occurred around noon Thursday local time approximately 40 miles west of the Philippines and about 150 miles from Scarborough Shoal. For days, the Chinese ship had been shadowing the American ship USNS Bowditch, which deployed the drone, a Slocum Glider.

"This is an act of war against the United States," Gordon Chang, analyst and author of "The Coming Collapse of China," told Fox News' "Happening Now." He said the move was an act of war because U.S. military property was stolen.

related: CHINA'S AIRCRAFT CARRIER CARRIES OUT LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE

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Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters
The oceanographic survey ship, USNS Bowditch. Photograph: US Navy/Reuters

The Chinese navy has seized an underwater drone in plain sight of the American sailors who had deployed it in international waters, in a seemingly brazen message to the incoming Trump administration.

According to a US defence official, the unmanned glider had come to the surface of the water in the South China Sea and was about to be retrieved by the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic and surveillance ship, when a Chinese naval vessel that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat in the water.

Chinese sailors in the small boat came alongside the drone and grabbed it despite the radioed protests from the Bowditch that it was US property in international waters. The incident happened about 100 miles north-west of the Philippines’ port of Subic Bay.

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Chinese warship seizes underwater US Navy drone in the South China Sea during live firing exercise

A CHINESE warship has STOLEN a US Navy drone, prompting fears of World War III.

The capture took place yesterday in the South China sea right in front of the crew of an American ship.

Shocked US defence officials have demanded it is returned and the incident has triggered a formal demarche from the States.

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China navy “stole” US Navy unmanned vehicle in South China Sea

The diplomatic and military friction over China’s attempts to create sovereign waters in the South China Sea escalated yesterday with the seizure of an unmanned drone from an American ship, which became public within the last hour or so.

The US insists that the USNS Bowditch, a US Navy oceanographic survey ship (T-AGS-62), was conducting routine scientific research in international waters off of the Philippines. When the crew attempted to bring it back to the ship along with another unmanned drone in use, a ship from the Chinese navy seized one of the drones and refused to acknowledge communications with the Bowditch

This isn’t the only provocation this week from China in the area. They installed weapons on their man-made islands in the South China Sea to back up their claims of sovereignty over the trade routes. As of the moment, the Obama administration has filed a formal démarche with China, demanding the return of the drone

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China seizes US naval underwater probe in South China Sea – defense official
The probe, a US Navy vessel operated by civilians, "was taken" by China, a US defense official says, adding the craft was seized about 50 miles off Subic Bay

China has seized an unmanned US naval underwater testing vehicle in international waters in the South China Sea, a US defense official told AFP on Friday, December 16 – a move sure to heighten concerns about Beijing's military presence in the disputed area.

The probe, a US Navy vessel operated by civilians, "was taken" by China, the official said, adding the craft was seized about 50 miles off Subic Bay.

The "naval glider" was used to test water salinity and temperatures to help in the mapping of underwater channels, the official said.

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China Grabs Underwater Drone Operated by US Navy in South China Sea

A Chinese Navy ship intercepted and grabbed a small, unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) being operated by a US Navy survey ship on Thursday in waters west of the Philippines, US defense officials confirmed Friday.

It is not clear what — if anything — prompted the interception of an ocean glider, described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as “an autonomous, unmanned underwater vehicle used for ocean science.”

Ocean gliders, according to the NOAA website, “may be equipped with a wide variety of sensors to monitor temperature, salinity, currents, and other ocean conditions.” The gliders are not driven by propellers, but use “large moveable fins and a large on-board battery pack to gently change its buoyancy over time.” The system is a commercially-based system.

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China has grabbed a US Navy oceanagraphic drone 50 miles off Philippines in South China Sea

A U.S. Navy unmanned bouancy glider was take by Chinese forces in international waters earlier this week, two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Friday.

The glider was operating with U.S. Military Sealift Command ship USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-62) about 50 miles off of Subic Bay in the Philippines when a People’s Liberation Army Navy ship took the glider both defense officals said.

“A Chinese naval ship that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat into the water. That small boat came up alongside and the Chinese crew took one of the drones,” CNN reported on Friday

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South China Sea Breach: U.S. Drone Stolen By Chinese Military
An unmanned underwater vehicle (right) similar to the stolen naval drone sits for inspection at the Naval Undersea War Center in Rhode Island on July 31, 2012. [Image by Stephan Savoia/AP Images]

The United States government has become actively involved in the South China Sea breach involving a stolen U.S. drone by the Chinese military, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
“Peter Cook, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Department of Defense has ‘called upon China to immediately return an unmanned underwater vehicle that China unlawfully seized.'”
The U.S. government has also released an official grievance to the Chinese in relation to the unlawful actions they took Thursday on South China Sea waters, with Cook insisting that China should respect international policy in the matter, even though all signs appear to indicate that the underwater vessel was purposely taken. The stolen drone’s objective in the South China Sea had been to keep tabs on conditions of the ocean water.

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Pentagon demands that China immediately return underwater drone it seized out from under U.S. ship
Chinese Navy officials pass aboard the ship Daqing Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in San Diego

The Pentagon demanded that China immediately return a U.S. Navy underwater drone that was captured in the South China Sea, in a confrontation certain to exacerbate tensions in a region where the government in Beijing has sought to assert greater control.

The USNS Bowditch was sailing only 160 km from Subic Bay, an American naval base in the Philippines, in the South China region when the incident occurred, according to a defence department official.

“We call upon China to return our UUV immediately, and to comply with all of its obligations under international law,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in the statement. The vehicle is an unclassified “ocean glider” system used around world to gather data on salinity, water temperature and sound speed.

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China seizes U.S. underwater drone in South China Sea

A Chinese warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest and a demand for its return, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.

The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), officials said.

"The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea," one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


China Blatantly Stole An American Underwater Drone From A US Ship In The South China Sea
Vessels roam the waters of the East China Sea during a naval exercise, October 19, 2012. The Chinese navy conducted a joint exercise in the East China Sea with the country's fishery administration and marine surveillance agency on Friday. 11 vessels, eight planes and more than 1000 personnels took part in the drill, according to local reports. REUTERS/China Daily

A Chinese navy warship seized a U.S. underwater drone collecting unclassified data in international waters in the South China Sea, defense officials revealed Friday.

The drone was deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel operating in the region, reports Reuters. The incident occurred in Subic Bay Dec. 15, just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The drone was mapping the sea floor and collecting oceanographic data.

The Chinese warship, a Dalang III-class vessel (ASR-510), stole the UUV in full view of the American ship, which was operating about 100 miles from a nearby port.


China seizes U.S. underwater drone in South China Sea, prompting a formal complaint
China has expanded small land formations it controls in the South China Sea, as here on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, piling sand onto outcroppings and building landing strips. (Ritchie B. Tongo / Associated Press)

The Pentagon on Friday demanded the return of a U.S. Navy underwater drone Friday that was seized by a Chinese military vessel in the South China Sea, an incident that also triggered a formal diplomatic complaint from the U.S government.

U.S. officials say the seized device was collecting data on water salinity, surveying the ocean bottom and gathering other scientific information.

The U.S. State Department issued a formal demarche with Beijing about the incident, involving the unarmed torpedo-like vehicle known as an autonomous underwater glider.


What is an ocean glider?

An ocean glider is an autonomous, unmanned underwater vehicle used for ocean science. Since gliders require little or no human assistance while traveling, these little robots are uniquely suited for collecting data in remote locations, safely and at relatively low cost.

Gliders may be equipped with a wide variety of sensors to monitor temperature, salinity, currents, and other ocean conditions. This information creates a more complete picture of what is happening in the ocean, as well as trends scientists might not otherwise be able to detect from satellites or large research ships.

While there are many glider designs that use different techniques to move through the water, all gliders share the ability to travel far distances over long periods, without servicing. Unmanned gliders sample the ocean in places where it is impractical to send people, and at a fractio n of the cost, allowing us to collect data even in the middle of a hurricane. It is these characteristics along with advancements in sensor technologies that make gliders increasingly important as tools for collecting ocean data.


China flies nuclear bomber over South China Sea as a 'message' to Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s direct contact with Taiwan’s leader broke with decades of diplomatic practice Wikimedia

China flew a nuclear-capable bomber outside its borders in a show of force less than a week before US President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan, it has been reported.

The 10-minute telephone call with President Tsai Ing-wen was the first by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of ‘One China’. It led to protests from Beijing.

The Xian H-6 bomber flew along the disputed 'nine-dash line' around the South China Sea, US officials told Fox News, passing over a number of disputed islands. The officials said it was designed to send a message to the incoming administration.

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Show of force: China's first aircraft carrier carries out first live-fire exercise
The live-fire drill in the Bohai Sea. (REUTERS/Stringer)

China's first aircraft carrier battle group has carried out its first live-fire exercise, the Defense Ministry has announced. Dozens of ships and aircraft took part in the exercise "a few days ago" in the Bohai Sea in eastern China to test weapon performance and training levels, according to a statement posted Thursday on the ministry's website.

China said last month that its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was ready to engage in combat, marking a milestone for a navy that has invested heavily in its ability to project power far from China's shores.

The carrier, destroyers and frigates carried out exercises covering air interception, sea-based attacks and air-defense as well as reconnaissance, early warning and anti-missile systems.

related:


China returns US navy’s drone while SAF’s armoured vehicles remain seized
A US Navy buoyancy glider similar to one seized by Chinese forces. Picture credit: US Navy Photo

The Chinese government has returned to the United States of America (US) an underwater drone which it seized in the South China Sea five days ago. A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defence said, “After friendly consultations between China and the United States, the transfer of the US underwater drone was smoothly completed.”

Meanwhile, the Singapore Armed Forces’ Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles which were seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department remains detained in an enclosed area. The SAF previously said that they were not provided formal reasons about why the vehicles have been detained. The shipping company engaged by SAF to transport the vehicles from a military exercise in Taiwan to Singapore had 3 unsuccessful meetings with the Chinese authorities to try and secure the release of the vehicles.

The Chinese government lodged representations to Singapore reiterating its “One-China” policy after their customs seized the armoured vehicles.

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Testing waters: Confrontations between China and the US

China, which is a continental rather than maritime power, is not surrounded by a vast ocean that allows its submarines to go undetected – an attribute that the US and Russia possess and benefit from, Prof Zhang added.

With the threat of American monitoring activities in the South China Sea amplified by the danger of Japanese surveillance in the East China Sea up north, Prof Zhang said: “It is my reading that China thought the US was using the drone to track down one of its submarines and they felt that [they] had to act.”

Yet, while US president-elect Donald Trump was right to denounce the seizure in particular as “unprecedented”, this is not the first time both countries have locked horns at sea in the early stages of a new presidency.

related:
America and China: Trading places on the world stage
Hague ruling: So are they rocks or islands?

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China Warns 'Small and Medium Size' Countries Not To Side with Big Countries: White Paper
Chinese naval aircraft carriers

A white paper released today by China on Asia-Pacific security cooperation has warned ‘small and medium size countries’ not to take sides in disputes between big countries, without naming the countries in question. The white paper, "China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation" was released by the State Council Information Office Wednesday on policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation, which also clarified the nation's stance on issues of regional concern.

"Small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries," according to the white paper, Sina reported Wednesday. All countries should work toward a new dialogue system instead of confrontation, and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, according to the white paper. Outlining China's concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the white paper explained the Chinese approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The policy package includes the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges; and proper settlement of differences.

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China issues white paper, warns small- and medium-sized countries not to take sides

China on Wednesday (Jan 11) issued its first white paper on issues related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation.

In the six-point proposal, reproduced in full by Xinhua, Beijing stated that "small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries".

"All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation," the white paper read.

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Singapore military vehicles seizure in Hong Kong

Multiple ministers have sought to downplay the ongoing friction between Singapore and China regarding the seizure of nine military vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in Hong Kong.

Various publications report that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen called for caution in speculating why Hong Kong customs offloaded and detained the shipment of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles while en route from Taiwan to Singapore.

Many have postulated that it's part of Beijing's ploy to browbeat Singapore in the several matters, including the city-state's position on the South China Sea dispute and the continuing military ties with Taiwan — a nation that the Chinese government regards as a breakaway province.

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Full Coverage:
Pentagon says China to return drone; Trump says they can keep it
China should keep seized US drone: Trump
China would return a seized US naval drone. Trump told them to 'keep it.'
Trump accuses China of stealing US navy drone in misspelled tweet
China to Return Seized US Underwater Drone
Donald Trump accuses China of 'unpresidented' act over US navy drone
'Let them keep it!': Donald Trump says China should keep seized US drone
China says it will return seized drone to U.S. Navy
U.S. undersea drone but accuses Washington of hyping incident
Pentagon: China to return seized Navy drone
China to return seized US underwater drone, Pentagon says
'Let them keep it': Trump doesn't want China to return drone 'they stole'
Donald Trump says China should keep the seized US Navy drone
Let China keep the drone: Trump
China ends standoff by returning US drone
Drone piracy in the South China Sea!
US says China agrees to return seized submarine drone
'Unpresidented' Trump tweet on China sets off deluge of mockery
Trump mocked 'unpresidented' tweet lambasting China for 'stealing' US drone
China Agrees To Return US Drone Unlawfully Seized In South China Sea
In tweet, Trump says China can keep seized Navy drone
China urges US to stop military reconnaissance in Chinese waters
China to hand over underwater drone to US in appropriate manner
Pentagon: Chinese naval ship seized unmanned US underwater vehicle
Politics|US Demands Return of Drone Seized by Chinese Warship
China's Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
China to return underwater drone to United States
Trump Accuses Beijing Of Stealing Underwater Drone That Pentagon
China's Navy Captures Unmanned U.S. Underwater Drone in SCS

China to return seized US drone, says Washington 'hyping up' incident
China Agrees to Return Seized Drone, Ending Standoff, Pentagon Says
China to return seized US drone 'through appropriate means'
China agrees to return snatched US underwater drone
Trump accuses China of stealing US navy drone in misspelled tweet
China says it seized US Navy drone to ensure safety of ships
China says it will return US Navy drone that it seized
Pentagon Says China Will Return Seized Drone as Trump Joins Row
China to return seized US underwater drone, Pentagon says
Donald Trump accuses China of 'unpresidented' act over US navy drone
China says it's giving US its ocean drone back, so stop 'hyping' the incident
China will give back seized drone after Trump slams Beijing over issue
Pentagon: Beijing will return naval drone seized in South China Sea
Trump gets his spelling wrong with 'unpresidented' tweet
China to Return Seized US Drone
China accuses US of 'hyping-up' seizure of underwater drone
China Will Return Seized US Underwater Drone In 'Appropriate' Way
US says China agrees to return seized submarine drone
Drone incident highlights high-stakes rivalry
Trump accuses China 'stealing' US Navy drone in international waters
China Agrees To Return US Drone Unlawfully Seized In The SCS
China: 'If We Need To Take It, We'll Take It, America Can't Stop Us'
China will return US vessel in "appropriate" manner: official
Chinese naval ship seized an unmanned US underwater vehicle in SCS
Concerns over Beijing in S China Sea stem from misconceptions
China: Building necessary defensive weapons on own territory is legitimate
China's Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
China Says It Will Return Unmanned Underwater Drone to United States
China's Navy Captures Unmanned U.S. Underwater Drone in South China Sea
China Agrees to Give Back US Underwater Drone Seized in South China Sea
China seizes US underwater drone in South China Sea
China's seizure of US drone shows Beijing won't back down in SC Sea
US Demands Return of Survey Drone Taken by Chinese in South China Sea
Beijing throws down the gauntlet, seizes U.S. undersea drone in SCS
China seizes US drone: What is an underwater drone or UUV what do they do?
Pentagon Demands China Return Intercepted U.S. Naval Drone
Chinese naval ship seized unmanned US underwater vehicle in S China Sea
Politics|US Demands Return of Drone Seized by Chinese Warship
US says Chinese warship seized Navy underwater drone
Seized US drone issue to be resolved smoothly: China paper
China Seizes US Underwater Drone From International Waters, Pentagon
China Seizes US Navy Drone in In South China Sea
China seizes US Navy underwater drone in international waters of SCS
Tensions rise as China snatches US navy underwater drone
US & China Conflict Latest News: Beijing Seizes American Underwater Drone
China stole US underwater drone in South China Sea as Americans watched
Updated: Chinese Seize U.S. Navy Unmanned Vehicle
Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters
China says issue over seized US underwater drone to be resolved smoothly
Drone snatch heralds new era in SCS says think tank, as US demands
US protests to Beijing after submarine drone seized
Pentagon says China warship seized US Navy drone collecting unclassified data
China's Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
China aircraft carrier conducts first live fire drills
China puts new weapons on South China Sea islands, report says
China seizes US naval probe in South China Sea
China conducts air-sea live-fire drills
Pentagon Demands China Return an Intercepted U.S. Naval Drone
China Seizes US Navy Drone in In South China Sea
Tensions rise as China snatches US navy underwater drone
China seizes US underwater drone in South China Sea
US protests to Beijing after submarine drone seized
Pentagon: Chinese naval ship seized an unmanned US underwater vehicle SCS
U.S. says Chinese warship seized Navy underwater drone
PH helpless vs China–Yasay
China stole US underwater drone in South China Sea as Americans watched
China Seizes US Underwater Drone From International Waters, Pentagon
Pentagon demands that China immediately return underwater drone seized
China seizes US Navy underwater drone in international waters of SCS
US & China Conflict Latest News: Beijing Seizes American Underwater Drone
Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters
What exactly is an underwater drone?
Beijing seizes US underwater drone in South China Sea
China Blatantly Stole An American Underwater Drone From A US Ship
China Seized a US Navy Underwater Drone in the South China Sea
Chinese Aircraft Carrier Displays Firepower Capabilities For First Time
Concerns over Beijing in S China Sea stem from misconceptions
China seizes US vessel: Pentagon
China putting weapons on artificial SCS islands 'nothing to do with militarization'
Island defenses 'legitimate, legal'
China's Navy Captures Unmanned U.S. Underwater Drone in South China Sea
China's Navy just seized a US military drone that was underwater in the SCS
China Seizes US Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea
US Demands Return of Survey Drone Taken by Chinese in South China Sea
Why Did China Reportedly Seize A U.S. Navy Vehicle?
South China Sea dispute: Chinese warship seizes US Navy drone
US Demands Return of Seized Drone by Chinese Navy in South China Sea
US 'ready to confront' Beijing over SCS, as satellite photos show 'militarization'
China puts new weapons on South China Sea islands, report says
Report: Beijing adds weapons to South China Sea islands
China Defends Military Presence on South China Sea Islands
Beijing Installing Anti-Aircraft, Anti-Missile Systems On Artificial Islands
China Seizes Drone From U.S. Research Vessel in South China Sea -- CNN
China Has Seized a US Navy Underwater Drone in the South China Sea
South China Sea Artificial Islands Have Weapons Installed: Report
A Chinese Warship Stole an Unmanned American Drone in the South China Sea
China warship seizes underwater US Navy drone SCS during live firing exercise
Pentagon Says Chinese Warship Seizes US Underwater Drone In SC Sea
China Suggests It Has Placed Weapons on Disputed Spratly Islands in SCS
China seized a US drone submarine in the South China Sea
South China Sea: Beijing defiant over weapons deployment claims
China: Navy Seizes US Unmanned Underwater Vessel In South China Sea
China's Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
China Navy seizes US unmanned research drone in international waters
South China Sea Breach: U.S. Drone Stolen By Chinese Military [Updated]
Beijing installs weapons systems in South China Sea, says US think tank
China eployment of defensive facilities on South China Sea islands legitimate
Report: China Put Weapons on South China Sea Islands
China reportedly seizes US naval underwater probe in South China Sea
US think tank says China has militarised South China Sea islands
China arms South China Sea islands, says no boost in militarization
United States ready to confront Beijing on South China Sea - admiral
Chinese Navy Seizes US Undersea Vehicle in South China Sea
Chinese Navy Seizes US Undersea Vehicle in SCS
In South China Sea Islands, Anti-Aircraft And Radar Systems Emerge In Color
China seizes US Navy vehicle in international waters of South China Sea
Satellite images appear to show weapons systems on artificial islands
South China Sea China seizes unmanned US naval underwater probe in SCS
China navy “stole” US Navy unmanned vehicle in South China Sea
China seizes US naval underwater probe in South China Sea – defense official
This is how far Beijing will go to defend its claim to the South China Sea
China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands, report says
China seizes US underwater drone in SCS, prompting a formal complaint
China Ready For War on Artificial Islands? Installs Anti-Missiles
Beijing: We Are Readying Slingshot in South China Sea
China seizes US Navy underwater drone in international waters: Pentagon
Chinese warship seizes U.S. Navy underwater drone in South China Sea
US, Australia urged to get tough on Beijing over South China Sea
Senator McCain Demands Response to Capture of Drone Boat in SCS
China's Navy seizes underwater US drone in South China Sea
Beijing admits it has installed weapons on islands in the South China Sea
Dollar pulls back after China seizes US underwater drone
China Grabs Underwater Drone Operated by US Navy in South China Sea
China sets up weapons system on artificial islands in South China Sea
Beijing installs 'defence' systems on South China Sea islands
China installed anti-aircraft & anti-missile systems on all seven major artificial
China has grabbed a US Navy oceanagraphic drone 50 miles in SCS
Chinese Seize US Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea
Chinese warship steals US Navy underwater drone
Chinese warship captures US Navy underwater drone
China Seizes US Underwater Drone
Pentagon: Chinese ship captures US underwater drone from sea
US demands China return stolen underwater drone