From an article on the seizure today of a US government oceanographic glider I inferred that it was captured by a Chinese warship in Subic bay.

I don't understand this. Isn't all of Subic Bay in Phillipino territorial waters? Why would a Chinese warship be in Phillipino waters at all?

  • Look for other references; some cite they took it while in international waters. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:29
  • 1
    This is a developing story so details are still unclear. some sources are saying the drone was international waters others in the China Sea. As to why? We don't know yet. best guess would be the Chinese either thought the drone might have been used for intelligence gathering. We will know soon.
    – Noah
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:56
  • DIdn't read details of THIS specific story, but it's a fact of modern geopolitical situation that China contests a lot of that area's waters. That could be a factor.
    – user4012
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 0:56
  • OP, so what is your question? Whether or not Subic Bay is in Phillipino territorial waters? Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 2:21
  • @DrunkCynic in fact the very reference the OP is providing tells that the incident happened in international waters. It is not clear why he is talking about Philipine waters. If it had happened in Philipine waters, it would be expected that the report informed about the reaction (or lack of it) from the Philipine Government.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


The Chinese Warship, and the USNS Bowditch, were not in Subic Bay. This incident took place 50 nautical miles north west of the Subic Bay Maritime Area, outside of Philippines Territorial Waters.

There are extensive contentions over which country can claim water ways in the South China Sea. The primary driver of this contention is China's belief that their territorial base line should be structured off of islands they claim ownership of well beyond the nationally recognized baseline.

As of late, China has been reinforcing reefs and recovering islands, including adding anti-aircraft armaments to these man made islands. Similarly, the Philippines Navy has Sailors 'stationed' in a rusted out ship stranded in the reefs of the Spratley Isles to protect their claim.

This is a rough map depicting the disputes of the South China Sea.

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