We might still be over a month away from Donald Trump officially becoming President of the U.S, but that hasn’t stopped him stirring up relations with China.
In a total disregard for international diplomacy, the President-elect took to Twitter to air his views on the Chinese warship which seized an underwater drone in the South China Sea belonging to the U.S, The Independent reports.
‘The Donald’ accused China of ‘stealing’ the U.S. Navy drone, before misspelling ‘unprecedented’.
He’s since deleted the tweet and re-posted it with the correct spelling. It’s probably this kind of behaviour that prompted his team to take away his Twitter access for a week leading up to the election result.
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
American officials issued a formal diplomatic complaint to China demanding the drone’s return.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters: “It is ours. It’s clearly marked as ours. We would like it back, and we would like this not to happen again.”
China has now promised to return the drone, after successful talks between the two nations – but they reaffirmed its opposition to the U.S. military presence in what it considers to be its territory.
They also seemed to reference Donald trump’s misspelled tweet as ‘hyping up’ the issue, only a day after Barack Obama appealed for restraint.
In a statement, The Chinese Defence Ministry said:
The Chinese lifeboat adopted a professional and responsible attitude in investigating and verifying the device. China decided to return it to the US side in an appropriate manner, and China and the US have all along been in communication about it. During this process, the US side’s unilateral and open hyping up is inappropriate, and is not beneficial to the smooth resolution of this issue. We express regret at this.
The USNS Bowditch was stopped in international waters on Thursday afternoon while attempting to recover two of its gliders when the Chinese ship approached.
The two vessels were within about 450 meters of each other when the Chinese ship then took the drone away.
This incident happened amid escalating tensions between China and the United States, as Trump caused outrage in Beijing after taking a call from Tsai Ing-wen, the president of democratically self-ruling Taiwan.
It was described as one of the most serious diplomatic incidents between the two nations in recent history.
He has also criticised Chinese currency policies, its activities in the South China Sea and its stance towards North Korea.
I don’t even want to imagine what will happen when his finger isn’t only over his tweet button, but the big red button.