Sri Lanka asks China to defer arrival of ship after India objects
Sri Lanka has asked China to defer the planned visit of a Chinese survey ship to the island country after an objection from India, a government source told Reuters on Sunday.
The Chinese research and survey vessel, Yuan Wang 5, was still on its way to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port. It is scheduled to arrive there on August 11, according to shipping data from Refinitiv.
India worries that the Chinese-built and leased port of Hambantota will be used by China as a military base in India’s backyard. The $1.5 billion port is near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Last week, a spokesperson for the Sri Lankan government said the ship was only stopping at Hambantota for refuelling.
China is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest lenders and has also financed airports, roads and railways, unsettling India.
As Sri Lanka battles its worst economic crisis in seven decades, India this year alone has provided it nearly $4 billion in support.
Diplomatic relations between India and China have been strained since clashes in 2020 between troops along a remote Himalayan border. At least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in the fighting, which led to a massive build-up of troops on both sides.
Foreign security analysts describe the Yuan Wang 5 as one of China’s latest space-tracking ships, used to monitor satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
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Should have gone with one side as I have told on numerous occasions. Now, in the worst possible place after receiving so much charitable handouts and credit lines from India. Fruits of democracy – unable to decide one way or another!! This is a country FXXed up for ever thanks to democracy imposed from outside and disharmony created by it.
SL’s strategic location is in demand from global players.
There are many who have helped us in troubled times while others continue to demand their pound of flesh.
RW is a veteran in this situation and is being supported by new blood in the Foreign Ministry.
We owe the Chinks and the Indians big money and the debt must be restructured.
Confident that RW and AS (the FM) will play our cards right and lead the Nation to be winners.
What away it is China will take much more that it gives, That is a fact.