South China Sea Breach: U.S. Drone Stolen By Chinese Military [Updated]
[Updated 7:47 pm EST]
The South China Sea breach is a message for Donald Trump regarding his recent telephone communication with the president of Taiwan, an expert has said, according to The Hill.
Harry Kazianis, head of the defense department at the Center for the National Interest, is able to offer a unique perspective to the South China Sea situation, as he has a history of close relations with China’s military, and he claims to know their chain of command system, starting from the most elite and traveling down to the soldiers serving on land and sea bases.
“This was very likely a highly planned and escalatory move to show China will not take matters lightly when it comes to President-elect Trump’s phone call and comments on Taiwan, or Chinese actions overall,” Kazianis said.
The defense expert also said he believes that once Trump becomes president, China will “test” him like they “tested” President Obama and President George W. Bush at 44 days and 77 days after their inaugurations, respectively.
“Kazianis predicts China to declare an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, as it did for the East China Sea in 2013, as one way to test Trump within the first six months of taking office.”
Kazianis is not, however, the first person to warn that the Trump administration will be given a test from countries that have less than warm relations with America. Admiral James Stavridis of the U.S. Navy, who is retired from service, has also spoken up about his belief that certain leaders will push the new president in order to see how he reacts to foreign threats. Stavridis warns that for this reason, Trump’s first days in office will be “a period of maximum danger.”
Unlike the Admiral, Harry Kazianis doesn’t believe that China’s or any other nation’s provocations with Trump will result in significant damages to diplomatic affairs or threats to civilians. To him, the current South China Sea breach is less an act of war and more about China desiring to showing the U.S. who’s boss.
The South China Sea dispute could have happened for a plethora of different reasons, but according to military experts, one thing is clear, and that is that it wasn’t an accident.
[Updated 3:25 pm EST]
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.
A South China Sea breach has occurred between the American and Chinese Navy, as a Chinese war vessel captured a subaqueous U.S. military drone on Thursday, a U.S. defense intelligence agent told CNN on Friday. The entire incident was reportedly witnessed by U.S. military operatives who were aboard an underwater craft when their equipment was stolen.
“In the latest encounter in international waters in the South China Sea region, the USNS Bowditch was sailing about 100 miles off the port at Subic Bay when the incident occurred, according to the official.”
The Bowditch had paused in its journey to retrieve two drones below the surface when a Chinese war vessel that had been following the Americans released a smaller craft and intercepted their task by taking one of the drones for themselves.
U.S. officials immediately radioed the Chinese officials and informed them that what they had taken was not theirs. At first, there was no response, but once the Chinese war vessel began its retreat, its inhabitants informed the Americans that they would be returning to their normal duties.
The stolen drone had been doing nothing in that region of the South China Sea beyond benignly assessing the state of the sea water.
There has been no official word from the Pentagon at this time and no specific indications of the reason behind this South China Sea international breach. However, there has been instances of bad blood between the two countries in recent weeks as Donald Trump took a call from Taiwan’s leader, who wished to congratulate the president-elect on his election victory. The call defied the “One China policy” agreement between the Chinese and U.S. governments.
[Featured Image by Petty Officer 2nd Class Will Gaskill/U.S. Navy/AP Images]