China says issue over seized U.S. underwater drone to be resolved smoothly: Global Times

The oceanographic survey ship, USNS Bowditch, is shown September 20, 2002, which deployed an underwater drone seized by a Chinese Navy warship in international waters in South China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has seized “unidentified” equipment it found in the South China Sea, the influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Saturday, a day after U.S. officials said a Chinese warship had taken a U.S. underwater drone.

The Global Times cited a Chinese military source as saying Beijing believed the incident involving the U.S. drone, which triggered a formal diplomatic protest and a demand for its return, would be resolved “smoothly”.

It said the equipment, which U.S. officials said was deployed by an American oceanographic vessel, was checked to prevent any navigational issues in the disputed waters.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng; Editing by Paul Tait)