The Chinese Navy on Tuesday handed back an American underwater drone it had seized, returning the device to the United States after days of contention that drew the ire of President-elect Donald J. Trump.
A Chinese vessel returned the submersible drone to a United States Navy ship in international waters off the Philippines, near where it was taken on Thursday, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, Peter Cook, said on the Pentagon’s website.
Since the Pentagon disclosed the episode on Friday and demanded the return of the ocean-monitoring device, American and Chinese officials have engaged in verbal sniping over the legality of the seizure, which took place roughly 500 miles from the coast of mainland China. In the latest announcement, Mr. Cook pressed home the official American position.
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