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.
We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2016
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.
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.