SL requests to defer Chinese vessel: Report

SL requests to defer Chinese vessel: Report

SL requests to defer Chinese vessel: Report

Written by Staff Writer

07 Aug, 2022 | 9:35 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); India's Hindustan Times on Saturday (06) reported that Sri Lanka had requested the Chinese Government to defer the visit of the controversial Chinese vessel Yuan Wang 05 at the Hambantota Port.

According to the news report, Sri Lanka requested to defer the arrival of the ship until further consultations could be made between the two Governments.

The tensions between the United States of America and China have intensified following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, with both global powers asserting their military strength near the Taiwan strait. 

The situation further escalated as China is continuing military drills near Taiwan, while five Chinese ballistic missiles appear to have fallen close to Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, further complicating matters.

The US has also positioned three warships, in the waters off Thailand and the region has become a hotspot of global tensions.

Against the backdrop of tense global geopolitics that have sent shockwaves across the globe, the Yuan Wang 05, a high-tech Chinese vessel involved in space and satellite tracking is currently en route to the Hambantota Port in the Sea of Sri Lanka, after departing China.

India considers this Yuan Wang 05 as a "Spy Ship" and its arrival at Hambantota is seen as a threat, since it endangers a number of security installations of strategic importance, including two Nuclear Power Plants in the region.

India says the Chinese vessel has the ability to conduct surveillance on their submarines and retrieve sensitive information.

Citing a diplomatic source in Colombo, India's Hindustan Times newspaper today reported that on the 12th of July, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had granted approval verbally, for the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, to dock the vessel at the Hambantota Port for replenishment and refueling.

However, the Hindustan Times report states that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday requested in writing from the Chinese Embassy, to defer the arrival of the ship.

The Hindustan Times report states that the Sri Lankan decision of deferring the visit of the Chinese vessel shows that it respects the security concerns of neighboring India despite the muscle power of China. 

The report highlights that India has provided financial assistance of more than 3.5 billion US dollars to Sri Lanka, in order to address the current economic crisis, and to purchase essential goods including fuel, food and medicine.

Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has responded to the congratulatory letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

He had informed the Indian Prime Minister that the friendship between India and Sri Lanka have flourished over the years into a mutually rewarding partnership across multiple spheres.

Recently, following a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, — President Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterated Sri Lanka's firm commitment to the one-China policy, as well as to the UN Charter principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.

So far, there is no specific information regarding China's response to the latest development on the Yuan Wang 05. 

We made attempts to contact the Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Minister to inquire into this matter, however, our attempts were futile.

China's Yuan Wang 05 was previously scheduled to arrive at the Hamabantota Port on the 11th of August. 

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