"Let them keep it!": Trump weighs in as US secures return of China drone

 
Lynsey Barber
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The drone seizure has increased tensions between the two countries (Source: Getty)

Officials in Washington and Beijing have agreed the return of a US underwater drone seized last week in the South China Sea, an act which President-elect Donald Trump had already labelled "unprecedented".

The incident prompted further comment from the businessman turned politician, saying China should "keep it" on Twitter, where Trump continues to share his thoughts on global events and his political appointments rather than through more official channels.

On Saturday the Pentagon confirmed it has secured the return of the unmaned underwater vehicle (UUV).

"Through direct engagement with Chinese authorities, we have secured an understanding that the Chinese will return the UUV to the United States," said Peter Cook, a spokesperson for the department.

Read more: Trump wades into dispute over US drone stolen in South China Sea

However, China's defence ministry accused the US of "hyping up" the incident.

"China decided to return it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner, and China and the U.S. have all along been in communication about it. During this process, the U.S. 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," said a spokesperson for the ministry.

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