BREAKING: China Rebukes Trump, Seizes American Vessel In South China Sea (DETAILS)

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China has just made a stunning move against the United States as the Far East nation struggles to get off to a good start with the incoming U.S. presidency of Donald Trump.

Reuters reported early Friday that a Chinese warship “seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea.”

This incident, termed the “first of its kind in recent memory,” took place just as an American vessel was working to retrieve the drone, triggering a “formal diplomatic protest” from the United States.

An anonymous U.S. official told Reuters,

‘The [seized drone] was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea. It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was U.S. property.’

The “military survey,” according to the unnamed official, was “part of an unclassified program to collect oceanographic data, including salinity, temperature and clarity of the water” for the benefit of U.S. military sonar data.”

Trump has already seriously set China off in the weeks since his election to the presidency, having broken America’s history of adhering to a “One China policy” and taken a call from the president of Taiwan.

Throughout the presidential campaign season, Trump targeted China on multiple occasions, accusing them of improperly manipulating the global currency market in their favor.

China has in recent weeks set up military bases on each one of a group of seven artificial islands in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, near where Friday’s incident involving the seized drone took place.

Featured Image via Drew Angerer/ Getty Images.