Yuan Wang 5: Sri Lanka gave in to intense pressure from China, says India

Yuan Wang 5: Sri Lanka gave in to intense pressure from China, says India

Yuan Wang 5: Sri Lanka gave in to intense pressure from China, says India

Written by Zulfick Farzan

17 Aug, 2022 | 5:49 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Indian Media reported that Sri Lanka gave in to intense pressure from China and last week reversed a decision to defer the visit to Hambantota by the Yuan Wang 5, which docked in the southern port on Tuesday (16) morning.

However, China says that marine scientific research activities of the Yuan Wang 5 ship are consistent with international law and international common practice.

The Chinese tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 docked at the Chinese-built Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka’s deep south on Tuesday (17) and remains in port.

According to clearance issued by the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the vessel will remain in Hambantota for a period of 7 days for replenishment purposes.

According to Colombo-based official sources, both India and the U.S. had conveyed their apprehensions to the Sri Lankan Government at the highest level, citing the vessel’s “military capabilities” while in the Indian Ocean Region.

Both India and the US have conveyed to the Sri Lankan side their concerns about the call by the vessel, used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to track satellites and ballistic missiles.

The Indian Navy keeps a close watch on extra-regional activity in the Indian Ocean region, especially the movement and presence of Chinese vessels such as the Yuan Wang 5, India navy officials said on condition of anonymity.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said that as the region gains prominence many countries getting active in the Indian Ocean trying to expand their influence.

He was responding to a question on the Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship ‘Yuan Wang 5,’ that was granted access to the Hambantota Port.

However, he said that the Indian Ocean will not become another flash point between India and China.

The External Affairs Minister said that India needs to take care of its national interests but can’t claim exclusivity in the region.

He said that India’s neighbors are culturally comfortable and economically bound.

The External Affairs Minister said that India is the only neighbor to have helped Sri Lanka in the ongoing economic crisis to step forward to deal with the IMF. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Tuesday (16) that the marine scientific research activities of the Yuanwang-5 ship are consistent with international law and international customary practice. 

He said that they do not affect the security and economic interests of any country and should not be obstructed by any third party.

He added that China has been doing its utmost to support and help Sri Lanka pull through the difficulties, and will continue to do so.

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