17 December 2016
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday (Dec 17) that it was “appropriately” handling the seizure of a US underwater drone through military channels with Washington.
“It is understood that China and the United States are using military channels to appropriately handle this issue,” the ministry said in a brief statement sent to Reuters, without any elaboration.
The statement came a few hours after the Global Times, a newspaper with links to China’s Communist Party, said that relevant departments on both sides had smooth communication channels.The matter should be “resolved smoothly”, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed military official.
The seizing on Thursday (Dec 15) is possibly a signal to the US that it will not back down from its South China Sea policy no matter what pressure Washington brings to bear on it, said Associate Professor Li Mingjiang of the Rajaratnam School of International Relations at the Nanyang Technological University
Beijing was responding to critical comments from President-elect Donald Trump, his nominated security chiefs and the commander of the US Pacific Command Harry Harris, said Prof Li.
A Chinese navy boat on Thursday seized the unmanned underwater glider as it came up to the surface of the water in the South China Sea and was about to be retrieved by sailors of the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic and surveillance ship, the British newspaper Guardian reported.
…”China is doing this to send a signal to the US, to tell the Americans ‘no matter what you say, no matter what critical views you have, no matter what pressure you exert on China, China is not going to back down, it will do things that China regards as appropriate in the South China Sea dispute’,” said Prof Li.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/12/2016