|Chinese Spy Ship Yuan Wang 5|
Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port authorities said the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5 that was expected to reach there on Thursday won’t dock the port as scheduled, according to a media report.
The Harbour Master for the Hambantota Port has said that no vessel can enter the port without his permission, the newsfirst.lk website reported. ‘Yuan Wang 5’, Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship, will not reach Hambantota Port on Thursday, it said.
The possible move comes days after India expressed apprehensions over the ship’s presence in the island nation and told Sri Lanka that it could pose a threat to its national security, PTI reported, citing local officials.
The Sri Lankan government earlier requested the Chinese government to defer the visit of its research vessel at Hambantota Port “until further consultations” are made on the matter.
Yuan Wang 5 departed from Jiangyin in China on July 13 and was expected to dock at the port from August 11-17 for ‘replenishment’ purposes.
The spy vessel, employed for space and satellite tracking, was expected to conduct satellite control and research tracking in the Indian Ocean region through August and September. The Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said, “The Ministry wishes to request that the arrival date of the vessel YUAN WANG 5 in Hambantota to be deferred until further consultations are made on this matter. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Colombo, the assurances of its highest consideration.” India earlier said it carefully monitors any development having a bearing on its security and economic interests.
“We are aware of reports of a proposed visit by this vessel to Hambantota in August,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi when asked about the reports of a proposed visit by a Chinese vessel.
“The government carefully monitors any development having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them,” he said.