China’s spy ship Yuan Wang-5 has been allowed by Sri Lanka to stay at Hambantota port.
India has expressed its strong displeasure over this move of Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson has clarified that the ship will go ahead after filling fuel.
New Delhi. Yuan Wang-5, a Chinese space and satellite spy ship, is heading towards Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on August 11, despite serious objections from the Indian Navy. Chinese officials said that it is a research and survey vessel. A Luyang class guided missile destroyer with Type 071 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) is also crossing the Indian Ocean. The ship is on its way to the Chinese base in Djibouti on the eastern coast of Africa. The Ranil Wickremesinghe government has approved the satellite tracker military ship Yuan Wang-5 to dock at Hambantota from August 11-17 for refueling, rest, recreation and supplies. It is to be known that the Hambantota port was given by Sri Lanka on a 99-year lease to China in 2017.
According to sources, the Chinese ambassador to Colombo has forced the Sri Lankan government to allow the Chinese ship to enter the Hambantota port. Sri Lanka is currently facing an economic crisis and if Sri Lanka does not allow China in this situation, then bilateral relations will be affected. On India’s objection, the Sri Lankan cabinet spokesperson said that the Chinese ship is coming only for refueling. “The president told the cabinet that diplomatic efforts would be made to work with the two countries so that no problems arise,” spokesman Bandula Gunawardhan said.
Sri Lanka may give any diplomatic reason for the entry of the Chinese ship, but the truth is that for the development of Hambantota port and International Airport, Sri Lanka has taken a huge amount in the form of loan from Exim Bank of China, which is 10% of its foreign debt. is the percentage. Simply put, Sri Lanka cannot afford to offend China as Chinese President Xi Jinping is the brand ambassador of Colombo’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) like Islamabad.
India has not shown mercy to Sri Lanka’s move as the military ship is also involved in ocean mapping, which is crucial for anti-submarine operations by the Chinese PLA Navy. This indirect blow to India comes at a time when the Modi government is helping the economic crisis-ridden Sri Lanka by giving more than US $ 3.5 billion to buy food, fuel and cooking gas supplies.
FIRST PUBLISHED : August 05, 2022, 2:43 PM IST
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