China on Thursday took an American underwater drone in the South China Sea, which immediately led to the Pentagon demanding the Chinese return the U.S. property. It was an aggressive move by China, and on Saturday, the country said it was in talks with the U.S. to return the device which apparently was being used for oceanic research.
President-elect Donald Trump weighed in with his thoughts with an early Saturday morning tweet in which he misspelled the word “unprecedented.”
Considering Trump offended the Chinese by taking a congratulatory phone call with Taiwan a few weeks ago, it’s unknown how the Chinese will respond to Trump’s latest Twitter offering. Especially since some believe Thursday’s incident was in response to Trump’s initial communication with Taiwan.
Diplomats believe "China was likely sending a signal to Mr. Trump’s incoming administration because of his comments about Taiwan." https://t.co/e54SAcZJaN— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) December 17, 2016
Said Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis, via the BBC: “[The drone] is ours. It’s clearly marked as ours. We would like it back, and we would like this not to happen again.”
About 90 minutes after his initial tweet, Trump tweeted out the correct spelling.
China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2016
Update 12:50pm CT: China has announced it will return the drone to the U.S. after making sure the device allowed for the “safe navigation of passing ships.”
Update 12:59pm CT, Dec. 18: Later on Saturday, Trump apparently decided he didn’t even want the drone returned.
We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2016