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La Cina Si Allunga Nei Mari Del Sud

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Sul Corriere della Sera di ieri 20 febbraio un articolo di Guido Santevecchi, sostanzialmente ripreso qui http://www.informazionimarittime.it/la-grande-muraglia-si-allunga-nel-pacifico-6214 e integralmente qui http://www.dagospia.com/rubrica-3/politica/dragone-sette-mari-isole-artificiali-avamposti-cina-si-94890.htm, mette in evidenza come la Cina stia creando vere e proprie isole artificiali nel Mar Cinese meridionale.

Immagini satellitari mostrano come nel giro di pochi mesi sia stato creata un'isola in cemento, poi fornita di eliporto. E ce ne sono altre tre, nell'arcipelago delle Spratly, conteso da Cina, Brunei, Malesia, Filippine, Taiwan e Vietnam. E te lo credo: controllare le rotte marittime in quella zona vuol dire tanto... con metà del traffico mercantile mondiale che naviga in quella zona! Per non parlare dei giacimenti petroliferi nei fondali e dei diritti di pesca.

Anche gli altri stati interessati hanno presidi militari in zona, ma solo i cinesi hanno costruito vere e proprie "fortezze" per accogliere molti militari (i Filippini hanno un avamposto sperduto di pochi uomini su una vecchia nave americana incagliata, la Sierra Madre....). E' in costruzione una striscia di tre chilometri x trecento metri = aeroporto militare .

 

2mhaeya.jpg

 

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Continua l'interesse di Guido Santevecchi per l'evoluzione della situazione nelle Spratly. Questo l'articolo sul Corriere di oggi 16 aprile 2015

63nBb0E.jpg

In fondo all'articolo, i dati dell'US Navy sulla situazione della flotta cinese e sulla evoluzione in prospettiva.

La Cina, diplomaticamente, fa notare che sono in costruzione anche centri di ricerca, rifugi anti-tifone, fari, insomma che sta lavorando per il bene dell'umanità (anche...)

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un allarmante articolo di defencetalk al link https://www.defencetalk.com/china-poised-to-take-de-facto-control-of-south-china-sea-philippines-63994/ afferma che, secondo le Filippine, la Cina ha, di fatto, il controllo del mar cinese meridionale. Affermazione emersa nel summit dell'ASEAN. Peraltro, secondo l'articolo, l'ASEAN non ha una gran tradizione diplomatica. Ma una frase del presedente Aquino mi ha colpito: that Chinese actions “should engender fear for the rest of the world”, and could threaten freedom of navigation.

China poised to take ‘de facto control’ of South China Sea: Philippines

Beijing is poised to take “de facto control” of the South China Sea, the Philippines warned Sunday, but its call for a robust Southeast Asian response at a regional summit was shot down.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic body of water, but Beijing claims nearly all of it, and its increasingly strident territorial assertions have caused concern in the region and beyond.
“(China) is poised to consolidate de facto control of the South China Sea,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in Kuala Lumpur a day ahead of an annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
He singled out a campaign of land reclamation on disputed reefs that has raised the spectre of permanent Chinese bases far out in the sea from which it can enforce its sovereignty.
‘Stand up for what is right’
“Is it not time for ASEAN to say to our northern neighbour that what it is doing is wrong and that the massive reclamations must be immediately stopped?” del Rosario asked his fellow ministers.
“Is it not time for ASEAN to finally stand up for what is right?”
But summit host Malaysia later rejected the idea of a response that could antagonise China.
“We must avoid any action that would be counter-productive and bring us further apart, either amongst ourselves, or with China,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said.
“I don’t think ASEAN would like to be given an ultimatum, and by the same token I don’t think China would like to be given an ultimatum.”
Faced with Beijing’s immense trade and diplomatic leverage, ASEAN has a history of failing to agree on strong responses over the issue on behalf of its members with disputed maritime claims.
Concern over Chinese land reclamation was re-ignited this month by satellite photos showing huge amounts of sand being dredged and dumped onto fragile coral reefs claimed by the Philippines.
Defence analysts say some of the new islands will be big enough for airstrips and other large facilities, raising the spectre of deepening Chinese domination of a waterway rich in energy reserves, fishery resources, and a vital conduit for much of world trade.
A draft statement prepared before the gathering calls for “self-restraint” at sea but avoids criticising or even mentioning China by name, a diplomatic source said previously.
‘Amicable solution’ sought
Anifah said “ASEAN member-states want to see that this matter should be settled amicably”, and he suggested China someday allow joint use of the artificial islands.
ASEAN has pushed China for more than a decade to agree on a code of conduct at sea that would prevent rival claimants taking steps that could inflame the situation.
But actual discussions only started in 2013 and have progressed slowly, with analysts saying Beijing is delaying to buy more time to consolidate its foothold.
Del Rosario said China will likely complete its reclamation projects before ever agreeing to a code of conduct, which would be rendered “irrelevant.”
Anifah called Friday for China to help “speed up” the process but ASEAN has avoided tough words.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino warned in a recent AFP interview that Chinese actions “should engender fear for the rest of the world”, and could threaten freedom of navigation.
The satellite photos released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies showed a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto a feature known as Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.
Other photos showed a runway and ship harbour taking shape on Fiery Cross, also in the Spratlys.
China has angrily rejected criticism, saying it can do as it pleases in waters that are its “indisputable” territory.
Malaysia police said they arrested on Sunday 12 Islamic militants planning attacks in Kuala Lumpur during the ASEAN meeting, seizing materials that could be used to make explosives.
Police did not make clear whether the planned attacks were specifically directed at the diplomatic gathering, but have warned of rising militant activity inspired by the Islamic State jihadists in Syria.

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e fa eco questa dichiarazione degli Stati Uniti, che rifiuta una proposta di accordo cinese sulle isole in oggetto. articolo al link https://www.defencetalk.com/us-rejects-chinas-offer-over-disputed-islands-64082/

US rejects China’s offer over disputed islands

The United States on Friday swiftly rejected a suggestion by a top Chinese military official who said that disputed South China Sea islands could be used for international rescue and relief operations.

Beijing has been roundly criticized by the West for construction work on islands in the South China Sea, including the building of an airstrip and other structures.

The Wall Street Journal and other US news organizations, citing a report on the Chinese Defense Ministry website, said Admiral Wu Shengli made the offer to his US counterpart, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, in a video conference.

Wu said China’s reclamation work on the disputed islands “will not threaten freedom of navigation and overflight” and will enhance the capacity for weather forecasting, maritime search and rescue and other public goods, and help to protect international maritime security, The Journal said, quoting the Chinese defense ministry report.

“We welcome international organizations, the US and relevant countries to use these facilities, when conditions are ripe, to conduct cooperation on humanitarian rescue and disaster relief,” the Chinese admiral was quoted as saying.

State Department acting deputy spokesman Jeff Rathke said Washington was not interested.

“Building facilities on reclaimed land in disputed areas will not contribute to peace and stability in the region,” Rathke told reporters.

“This is true even if, as some Chinese officials have stated, the facilities in question were used for civilian disaster response purposes.”

He added: “If there is a desire to reduce tensions, China could actively reduce them by taking concrete steps to halt land reclamation.”

Beijing should “work with existing multilateral mechanisms for humanitarian and disaster relief,” such as one under the umbrella of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN issued a statement Monday at the close of a summit in Malaysia expressing “serious concerns” over China’s land reclamation on reefs whose sovereignty is contested.

Beijing insists it has sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are claimed by several other Asian nations.

The construction work has triggered fears of tightening Chinese control over the seaway.

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La Cina sta facendo nascere nuove alleanze...https://www.defencetalk.com/philippines-and-japan-hold-historic-naval-drills-in-flashpoint-waters-64190/

Philippines and Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters

Two Japanese destroyers and one of the Philippines’ newest warships began historic naval exercises in the flashpoint South China Sea on Tuesday, showcasing a deepening alliance aimed at countering a rising China.

The day-long war games, the first bilateral naval exercises between the former World War II enemies, took place less than 300 kilometres (186 miles) from a Philippine-claimed shoal now under Chinese control.

Philippine authorities insisted the exercises were merely focused on building military capabilities, but security analysts said they were clearly a signal to China over bitter maritime territorial disputes.

“First they demonstrate that China’s Pacific neighbours are beginning to balance against China,” professor Michael Tkacik, a foreign policy expert at the Texas-based Stephen F. Austin State University, told AFP.

“Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and assorted other states are threatened by China’s behaviour, even as far away as India. Thus, the Philippines and Japan are jointly making an important statement about how seriously they view China’s actions.”

China has caused deep concern regionally in recent years as it has become more aggressive in staking its claims to the South China Sea and Japanese-claimed islands in the East China Sea.

China insists it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the South China Sea.

However the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have competing claims to parts of the sea, which is vital to the global shipping industry and is believed to contain huge deposits of fossil fuels.

Chinese control
In 2012, China took control of Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing ground within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and more than 650 kilometres from the nearest major Chinese landmass.

Chinese coastguard vessels have since guarded the shoal and denied Filipino fishermen access, triggering a series of protests from the Philippines that have been brushed aside in Beijing.

Although the Philippine Navy declined to say exactly where Tuesday’s exercises took place, it said the vessels would sail into the South China Sea from a former US naval base in Subic Bay, about 270 kilometres southeast of Scarborough Shoal.

“It would be naive for anyone to think this is just an ordinary joint exercise in the light of some assertive actions by China in the South China Sea,” Wilfrido Villacorta, an international relations lecturer at the Manila-based De La Salle University, told AFP.

He described this as a “natural reaction” by the Philippines after recent “provocations”.

Villacorta cited in particular China’s recent flurry of reclamation activities on reefs in the Philippine-claimed Spratlys archipelago, turning them into islands capable of hosting significant military outposts.

China has repeatedly rejected allegations it is breaking international law in the South China Sea, insisting it has sovereign rights to the waters.

China hit out at the Philippines again on Tuesday, as it reasserted its rights to the Spratlys, which it calls the Nansha islands.

“The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the Philippines’ occupation of some of the maritime features of China’s Nansha islands by force,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

“Facts have proven once again that the Philippines is the real rule breaker and troublemaker.”

Security analysts said Japan’s decision to deploy warships into the South China Sea for the exercises, part of a broader trend to give military support to the Philippines, would anger China.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua said the exercises were being “closely” followed, describing them as “hyping up tensions”.

China and Japan are separately engaged in a bitter and longstanding row over ownership of a Japanese-controlled island chain in the East China Sea. They are known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.



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La settimana scorsa è stato divulgato un video girato da un aereo spia USA sulle isole artificiali militari cinesi. L'incursione non è stata affatto gradita della Marina cinese, che per ben otto volte ha invitato l'aereo ad allontanarsi, per evitare un "misunderstanding" http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/20/politics/south-china-sea-navy-flight/

Un articolo sul Washington Post, ripreso dal Guardian Weekly del 22-28 maggio, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/05/14/how-the-south-china-sea-could-be-beijings-path-to-greater-dominance-in-the-pacific/ mette in evidenza anche un altro aspetto: i sottomarini nucleari hanno funzione detterrente, quindi sono destinati a tenere lontani USA (e India). I sottomarini cinesi sono facilmente intercettabili, quindi non potrebbero spingersi nel Pacifico; ma neanche se ne possono stare sempre in porto. A questo punto, pare assodato che il fine cinese sia fare del mar cinese meridionale un mare interno. Ma si tratta di un mare attraverso cui passa la metà del traffico mercantile mondiale. E i vicini di casa della Cina sarebbero ben lieti di ospitare operazioni navali USA o Indiane.

E la diplomazia cinese ha recentemente respinto le proposte USA per aprire colloqui sul tema. Insomma, un bel pasticcio.

 

2i0gnxc.jpg

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Ed ecco servite le tre possibilità che "permetterebbero" alle due potenze un vero conflitto http://it.sputniknews.com/politica/20150526/443761.html

- un incidente aereo

- una guerra per es. Cina - Filippine, con conseguente schieramento USA a favore delle alleate Filippine

- il blocco da parte dela Cina del libero movimento mercantile e militare, navale e areo nel Mare Cinese meridionale.

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Pare che i lavori siano in procinto di essere conclusi e la base pronta all'operatività

 

http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2015/07/02/news/isole_contese_nuove_foto_pista_cinese_a_spratly_quasi_ultimata-118119353/?ref=HREC1-3

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Dovresti argomentare un po di più, LColombo! chi legge il forum non puo sentirsi attratto da un semplice link e si rischia di far morire la discussione.

 

Nella fattispecie l'articolo che linki è interessante e puo diventare fonte di discussione. L'autore raffronta la Marina Cinese con la Regia Marina di Mussolini e suggerisce di non sovrastimare la potenza navale, perché è altrettanto pericoloso del sottostimare. Avere sovrastimato le capacità della regia Marina avrebbe distolto, secondo l'autore, importante forze da teatri ben più importanti. E gli stati Uniti starebbero attuando la stessa politica di parità di forze che attuò a suo tempo contro di noi la Francia.

 

Personalmente non sono affatto d'accordo. Non si può guardare una nazione sulla potenza di una forza armata, la si guarda nella globalità delle potenzialità, ivi compreso, oggi, le capacità cyber. E' però vero che a similitudine della politica del ventennio, la Cina ambisce con molta arroganza a spazi ben più ampi. Però ha ben più materie prime e forza lavoro.

 

Una piccola nota a margine: non credo che gli alleati abbiano sovrastimato l'Italia prima del conflitto, senno la guerra in Mediterraneo non sarebbe durata 3 anni. Però penso abbiano sovrastimato le capacità strategiche italiane.

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Appunto, lo avevo messo come spunto di discussione; non ho scritto altro perché mi aveva incuriosito il parallelo ma non sapevo bene come considerarlo.

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E dopo l'aereo, anche la US Navy è andata a controllare che succede in zona, superando il limite delle acque territoriali. . http://www.corriere.it/esteri/15_ottobre_27/marina-stati-uniti-sfida-cina-intorno-isole-artificiali-f4e6316a-7c75-11e5-8cf1-fb04904353d9.shtml

Sembrano davvero curiosi....

 

Penso che mandare una nave così apertamente è più un avviso

Altrimenti per spiare meglio un battello, no?

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Le acque non sono ottimali per un battello, però hai ragione, inviare una nave di superficie è anche un segnale, e forte!

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Da base artica. Marco.

Credo che si stia facendo un errore di valutazione.

Inanzitutto tali mari sono piu vitali per l ecconomia cinese sia di import che di export.

Di conseguenza e per la cina un pericolo che il proprio trafico marittimo sia "regolamentato" da un paese che

Ha interessi di altra natura e pure suo creditore finanziario.

 

L invio di un unita usa di superficie ha pui carattere di " saggiare" il terreno per notare possibili gradi di nervosismo cinese di reazione.

Sommergibili cinesi non sono unita d attacco, al massimo potremmo dire batterie galleggiati di arresto.

Idem per il restante naviglio di superficie.

Anche in caso di voluta provocazione tipo anni 60 golfo del tonchino, la cina non reagirebbe, esempio il bombardamento loro ambasciata anni fa a belgrado durante la "guerra umanitaria" nato serbia.

 

Non credo che un conflito aperto sia voluto, invece tutta una serie di " movimenti " socio ecconomico e gia in atto da tempo.

Gli usa hanno quasi provocato il mercato cinese con la ratificazione usa-paesi area asiatica x il libero scambio senza dogane, cosa che vogliono anche con l europa x dare l ultima spaalata alla russia.

 

Bisognera vedere come intelinge e la futura tacnologia metterano le attuali portaeri in grado di svolgere il loro compito di basi aeree mobili.

Non dimentichiamo che i droni non sono solo in aria.

Marco

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Continua la schermaglia tra Cina e Stati Uniti. Su Defencetalk al link http://www.defencetalk.com/us-to-operate-wherever-law-allows-in-south-china-sea-65735/ la forte affermazione USA: "Fli Stati Uniti opereranno ovunque le leggi internazionali lo consentano". IL riferimento alle recenti crociere in prossimità degli interessi del Dragone non sono casuali. ecco l'interessante articolo

US to operate ‘wherever’ international law allows in South China Sea

The US military will continue to operate “wherever” international law allows, including in the South China Sea, a top US admiral said in Beijing on Tuesday, a week after America infuriated China by sailing close to artificial islands it is building in the contested waters.

“International seas and airspace belong to everyone and are not the dominion of any single nation,” Admiral Harry Harris said, according to prepared remarks for a speech at the Stanford Center at Peking University.

“Our military will continue to fly, sail, and operate whenever and wherever international law allows. The South China Sea is not — and will not — be an exception,” he added.

Harris is the commander of the US Pacific Command and his public declaration in the Chinese capital is a mark of US resolve over the strategically vital waterway, where Beijing has built up rocks and reefs into artificial islands with facilities for military use.

Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the sea on the basis of a segmented line that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s.

Harris described the claim as “ambiguous” and based on “the so-called 9-dash line”.

Washington has repeatedly said it does not recognise Chinese claims to territorial waters around the artificial islands.

The USS Lassen guided missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations in the disputed Spratly Islands last week.

Harris tempered his comments with conciliatory remarks, praising US-China ties and pointing out that Chinese and American ships were visiting ports in each other’s countries.

“Some pundits predict a coming clash between our nations. I do not ascribe to this pessimistic view,” Harris said, according to a copy of his speech.

“While we certainly disagree on some topics — the most public being China’s claims in the South China Sea and our activities there — there are many areas where we have common ground.”

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Un preoccupante articolo di defencetalk (che rilancia france presse) al link http://www.defencetalk.com/china-must-ready-for-military-conflict-in-south-china-sea-67790/ rappresente una Cina pronta al "Confronto Militare" nel ma cinese meridionale, come noto zona ricca di interessi economici.

 

La disputa internazionale sulla sovranità in quei mari, chiesta dalle Filippine alle Nazioni Unite conto il comportamento della Cina è stata boicottata dal Dragone, che sta invece impostando un attacco mediatico a 360°, comprensivo di esercitazioni militari e dichiarazioni verso gli Stati Uniti che sanno molto disfida.

 

 

Credo non debba essere dimenticata l'esercitazione USA con ben 2 portaerei al lago delle Filippine avvenuta ai primi di Luglio http://www.defencetalk.com/us-aircraft-carriers-start-drills-off-philippines-67703/

 

ecco l'articolo:

China must ready for military conflict in South China Sea

Beijing must prepare for “military confrontation” in the South China Sea, state-run media said Tuesday, as it began naval drills in the area ahead of an international tribunal ruling over the maritime dispute.

China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich strategic waterway despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbors — raising tensions with the United States, which has key defence treaties with many allies in the region.

On Tuesday, China began a week of naval exercises in waters around the Paracel Islands.

They come a week before a United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague rules on a case brought by the Philippines challenging China’s position.

Beijing has boycotted the hearings and is engaged in a major diplomatic and publicity drive to try to delegitimise the process.

In an editorial, the Global Times — a newspaper owned by the People’s Daily group that often takes a nationalistic tone — said China should accelerate the build-up of its defence capabilities and “must be prepared for any military confrontation”.

“Even though China cannot keep up with the US militarily in the short-term, it should be able to let the US pay a cost it cannot stand if it intervenes in the South China Sea dispute by force,” it added.

In recent years Beijing has rapidly built up reefs and outcrops into artificial islands with facilities capable of military use.

Manila lodged its suit against Beijing in early 2013, saying that after 17 years of negotiations it had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues to settle the dispute.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) will issue its ruling on July 12, though China has consistently rejected the tribunal’s right to hear the case and has taken no part in the proceedings.

The arbitration case had been orchestrated by the Philippines and the US to portray China as “an outcast from a rules-based international community”, said an editorial in the China Daily.

The newspaper, which is published by the government, added: “It is naive to expect China to swallow the bitter pill of humiliation

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La militarizzazione delle Spratly, continua, con lo schieramnento di difese antiaerea e antimissile. Incredibile la nitidezza delle foto satellitari scattate dall’Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI),

D'altra parte, anche il Vietnam a sua volta sta creando isole artificiali in zone contese, cercando di occupare quante più “posizioni” possibili per difendersi dalla Cina..

http://amti2016.wpengine.com/ http://www.analisidifesa.it/2016/12/pechino-schiera-sistemi-di-difesa-aerea-nelle-isole-spratly/

 

Ah, a proposito di contenziosi: avete letto della lite Cina USA per un drone sottomarino "scientifico" USA "rubato" dalla Cina ? http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2016/12/18/news/alta_tensione_la_sonda_sottomarina_usa_sequestrata_da_una_nave_di_pechino_al_largo_delle_filippine_sara_restituita_-154346499/

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In effetti il riarmo procede velocemente ed in maniera preoccupante da parte di tutti gli stati vicini, sta diventando una zona esplosiva.

La lite è interessante, per lo UUV, anche se non so se il neo presidente se la stia giocando al meglio...

Non penso che ci sia perdita di know how tecnologico, ormai la Cina è al passo, ma una gestione della crisi non corretta potrebbe amplificare un piccolo incidente.

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Lo UUV, drone, se volete, sembra sia stato restituito, alla fine http://www.defencetalk.com/china-returns-seized-us-naval-sea-drone-68699/

 

 

China returns seized US naval sea drone

 

China on Tuesday returned a US underwater probe it seized in the South China Sea, the Pentagon confirmed after Beijing’s capture of the craft sparked a dispute between the two powers.
The Chinese navy handed over the drone near where it was seized, the Pentagon said, repeating US condemnation of Beijing’s actions in what it says are international waters.
“This incident was inconsistent with both international law and standards of professionalism for conduct between navies at sea,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
We have “called on Chinese authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and to refrain from further efforts to impede lawful US activities.”
A US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP the probe was handed over to the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin and will be taken to a naval base for inspection.
A Chinese naval vessel seized the probe last week around 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, a move that heightened existing tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
The Pentagon statement said the US Navy drone was “conducting routine operations in the international waters of the South China Sea in full compliance with international law.”
Rise in ‘interactions’
For its part, China said the handover of the drone was “completed smoothly” after “friendly consultations” between both sides, according to a short defense ministry statement on its website.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the handling of the incident showed the two countries have a “smooth channel of communication.”
But she also warned the US against “conducting close reconnaissance in China’s coastal waters.”
“China is strongly opposed to this and has been asking the US to stop these kinds of activities,” she said, adding: “I believe this was the root cause for this incident happening.”
A second US defense official told AFP there had been an increase in “interactions” between US and Chinese vessels over the past year in the South China Sea and western Pacific.
Pentagon officials said last week the Chinese had “unlawfully” grabbed the marine probe, which they described as a craft that gathers unclassified data — including water temperatures, salinity and sea clarity.
Such data can be used to help submarines navigate and determine sonar ranges in murky waters.
China said it snatched the craft because it might pose a safety hazard to other vessels. It also said it “strongly opposed” US reconnaissance activities and had asked Washington to stop.
Washington insists the small, slow-moving craft cannot be used for surveillance.
Continuing tension
The incident has heightened continuing tensions in the South China Sea. Beijing has fortified its claims to almost all the waterway by expanding tiny reefs and islets into artificial islands hosting military facilities.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have competing claims in the waterway.
While Washington takes no position on the sovereignty disputes, it has repeatedly called on China to uphold freedom of navigation.
Its military has conducted several operations in which ships and planes have passed near the sites Beijing claims.
US President-elect Donald Trump raised the rhetorical heat further after the probe was seized, by accusing Beijing of theft.
After Beijing and Washington announced on Sunday the drone would be returned, he tweeted: “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back. – let them keep it!”
China’s foreign ministry on Monday rejected Trump’s accusations Beijing had stolen the craft as “not accurate”.
The state-owned China Daily said in an editorial earlier that Trump’s behavior “could easily drive China-US relations into what (US President Barack) Obama portrays as ‘full-conflict mode.'”
Trump had already angered China by questioning longstanding US policy on Taiwan, calling Beijing a currency manipulator and threatening punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.
Though this is the first time the Chinese navy has seized a probe, it is not unusual for the underwater craft to go missing.
The Navy deploys about 10 ocean gliders in the western Pacific each month, and a small percentage of these are lost in fishing nets, storm damage or through equipment failures.
“In October, one of our ocean gliders was lost in the vicinity of Vietnam, but we are not sure of the final disposition of the glider,” said Lieutenant Commander Matt Knight, a US Pacific Fleet spokesman.

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