The U.S. expects China to return an underwater U.S. drone as early as Tuesday after a Chinese naval vessel seized in last week. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The United States expects China to soon return an underwater U.S. drone after a Chinese naval vessel seized it last week, with one U.S. official telling Reuters the exchange could happen as early as Tuesday at an agreed spot in the South China Sea. China's seizure of the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) triggered a diplomatic protest and speculation about whether U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will point to the incident as proof of the need to take a tougher line with Beijing. A Chinese warship took the drone, which the Pentagon says uses unclassified, commercially available technology to collect oceanographic data, on Thursday about 50 nautical miles ]northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines. The officials said talks with Beijing on the timing of the exchange were advancing, with two saying they expected the incident to be satisfactorily resolved "relatively soon." One of the officials added the exchange could take place in the vicinity of the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Both China and United States said over the weekend China will return the drone but did not clarify how or when.