Sri Lankan Government denies Chinese Survey Ship after India objects

Sri Lankan Government denies Chinese Survey Ship after India objects

After India objected, Sri Lanka urged China to postpone sending a Chinese survey ship to the island nation. A government source told Reuters on Sunday. 

The Yuan Wang 5 Chinese research and survey vessel was still traveling to the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. 

According to shipping information from Refinitiv, it is expected to arrive on August 11.

India is concerned that China would utilize the port of Hambantota, which it developed and leases, as a military base in its neighborhood. 

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The key shipping route from Asia to Europe is close to the $1.5 billion port.

An inquiry for comment on Sunday went unanswered by the Chinese foreign ministry. 

However, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan government said last week that the ship was stopping in Hambantota to refuel.

Unsettling India, China is one of Sri Lanka’s largest lenders and has also provided funding for airports, roads, and railroads. 

India has only given Sri Lanka assistance of close to $4 billion this year as it struggles with its worst economic crisis in seven decades.

Since battles between soldiers near a distant Himalayan frontier in 2020, diplomatic ties between India and China have been strained. 

As a result of the combat, which claimed the lives of at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers, both sides significantly increased their force levels. 

The Yuan Wang 5 is one of China’s newest space-tracking vessels, designed to detect satellite, rocket, and intercontinental ballistic missile launches, according to SriForeign security experts.