Despite India’s concerns, Sri Lanka allows the Chinese ship to dock at Hambantota port


New Delhi: Despite India’s security concerns, the Sri Lankan government has agreed to dock the hotly contested Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5 in Hambantota port, according to official sources on Saturday.

The Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship Yuan Wang 5 was originally scheduled to arrive at Hambantota port on August 11 and stay there until August 17 for refueling. However, the ship did not arrive at Hambantota port as scheduled, according to the port chief of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

The Chinese ship’s tracking devices have raised concerns in India that it may spy on the latter’s military infrastructure.
The Sri Lankan government last week asked the Chinese embassy to postpone its research vessel’s visit to Hambantota port “until further negotiations are held”. As a result, the ship did not reach the port of Hambantota on Thursday as expected.

However, it was reported that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs granted permission for the ship to dock at the port beginning on August 16. According to PTI, she will now remain at the port until August 22.
India has confirmed it will issue judgments based on its security concerns, and on Friday rejected China’s “suggestions” that New Delhi had urged Colombo to cancel a planned visit to the research vessel.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagshi emphasized that Sri Lanka, as a sovereign country, makes its own independent decisions, and indicated that India would base its assessment of its security concerns on conditions in the region, particularly in the border areas, which are seen as a clear phenomenon. A reference to the eastern Ladakh conflict.

We reject the insinuations in the statement about India. “Sri Lanka is a sovereign country that makes its own independent decisions,” Baghi told a news briefing.
With regard to our security concerns, this is the sovereign right of every country. We will make the best judgment for our own benefit. Naturally, this takes into account the situation prevailing in our region, especially in the border areas.

In a veiled reference to India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that pressure on Sri Lanka to prevent the ship from visiting Hambantota was “meaningless”.

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