WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the Chinese Navy’s seizure of a U.S. unmanned oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea:
“The Chinese Navy’s seizure of a U.S. unmanned oceanographic vessel in international waters is a flagrant violation of the freedom of the seas. China had no right to seize this vehicle. And the United States must not stand for such outrageous conduct.
“This brazen provocation fits a pattern of increasingly destabilizing Chinese behavior, including bullying its neighbors and militarizing the South China Sea. And this behavior will continue until it is met with a strong and determined U.S. response, which until now the Obama administration has failed to provide. Freedom of the seas and the principles of the rules-based order are not self-enforcing. American leadership is required in their defense. But that leadership has been sorely lacking.
“We are not witnessing a China committed to a ‘peaceful rise.’ Instead, we are confronting an assertive China that has demonstrated its willingness to use intimidation and coercion to disrupt the rules-based order that has been the foundation of security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for seven decades. As I have said repeatedly, we must adapt U.S. policy and strategy to reflect this reality and ensure we have the necessary military forces, capabilities, and posture in the region to deter, and if necessary, defeat aggression.”
Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump hit China, too accusing them of stealing the drone.
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act. We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!”