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NYT: Soft Response By U.S. to China's Drone Grab Worries Asian Allies

Image: NYT: Soft Response By U.S. to China's Drone Grab Worries Asian Allies

 President Barack Obama (Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 11:05 PM

China’s bold move to grab a drone from the U.S. in international waters and the Obama administration’s soft response is worrying Asian allies, The New York Times reports.

"Allies and observers will find it hard not to conclude this represents another diminishment of American authority in the region," Douglas H. Paal, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the Times.

A Chinese naval ship on Thursday took possession of a U.S. drone operated by an oceanographic survey vessel collecting unclassified data for U.S. naval operations in the South China Sea. China refused initial requests from the vessel to return the drone and, after a demand by the Obama administration to do so, said it would in an "appropriate" time frame.

Diplomats and analysts across Asia said they were confused regarding Obama's response to the seizure. 

"This is China showing that it is in the process of setting the rules in the South China Sea, imposing its own view in the South China Sea and saying the South China Sea should be its own backyard," Alexander Vuving, a specialist on Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii, told the Times.

"If China can get away with this incident with impunity," he added, "this will send a chilling message to countries in the region."

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China's bold move to grab a drone from the U.S. in international waters and soft response to the Obama administration's demand to return it is worrying Asian allies, The New York Times reports.
china, drone, philippines, drone, obama, trump, south china sea
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2016-05-18
Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 11:05 PM
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