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Hambantota: Sri Lanka asks China to defer visit of spy ship Yuan Wang 5 Hambantota
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Hambantota: Sri Lanka asks China to defer visit of spy ship Yuan Wang 5

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 07 Aug 2022, 06:03 pm

Colombo: Sri Lanka has directed Beijing to defer the visit of the spy ship Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka requested China to defer the arrival date of the satellite tracker military ship Yuan Wang 5 until further consultations are made on this issue, reports ANI.

“The Ministry wishes to request that the arrival date of the vessel Yuan Wang 5 in Hambantota be deferred until further consultations are made on this matter,” read the MoFA letter referred to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China of Sri Lanka.

The Chinese vessel Yuan Wang 5 was scheduled to dock at Chinese leased Hambantota port on Aug 11 for the purpose of refuelling.

It was scheduled to leave on Aug 17.

“The Chinese scientific research vessel ‘Yuan Wang 5’ will enter Hambantota port on August 11 for a week. It is expected to leave on August 17 after replenishment. It could conduct satellite control and research tracking in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean region,” Y Ranaraja, Director, Belt & Road Initiative Sri Lanka (BRISL) told ANI.

Designated as a research stroke survey vessel, Yuan Wang 5 was built in 2007 and has a carrying capacity of 11,000 tonnes. The survey vessel departed from Jiangyin, China on July 13 and is currently sailing close to Taiwan where China is conducting live-fire drills as an aggressive posture against Taipei for allowing US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit the self-ruled island.

During this significant visit to the key Sri Lankan port, it could conduct satellite research in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean region, prompting security concerns for India, reports the Indian news agency.

The Hambantota International Port is located just 250 kilometres from Colombo city.

The port was built with high-interest Chinese loans.

The Sri Lankan government struggled to repay the debt they had taken from China following which the port was handed over to the Chinese on a 99-year lease, reports ANI.