Sri Lanka asks China to delay sending ship after India pressure

Sri Lanka has asked China to indefinitely delay a visit by a ship following intense pressure by India, official sources said Saturday.

The Yuan Wang 5 is en route from the Chinese port of Jiangyin and due in the Chinese-run Sri Lankan port of Hambantota on Thursday, according to analytics website MarineTraffic.

It is described as a research and survey vessel, but according to CNN-News18 is a dual-use spy ship, employed for space and satellite tracking and with specific usage in intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

Some media reports said that New Delhi was worried the vessel would be used to spy on its activities and that it had lodged a complaint with Colombo.

India remains suspicious of China’s growing influence in its southern neighbour Sri Lanka.

The foreign ministry last week said that it will closely monitor “any bearing on India’s security and economic interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them”.

In a written request, the Sri Lanka foreign ministry told the Chinese embassy in Colombo not to go ahead with the visit, an official involved in the process told AFP on Saturday.

“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 request says.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe assured political party leaders on Friday that the controversial visit will not go ahead as planned.

Earlier this week, Colombo appeared to brush aside Indian concerns, saying the vessel was coming only to refuel and replenish supplies and would not undertake any work in Sri Lankan waters.

India objected strongly when two Chinese submarines berthed in Sri Lanka in 2014.

Former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose brother Mahinda Rajapaksa borrowed heavily from China while president from 2005 to 2015, was forced to resign last month over Sri Lanka’s worst-ever economic crisis, which is ongoing. (Courtesy AFP)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Making rifts with China will create issues to get loans from China and IMF. You are going to put yourselves in deep trouble because of your stupidity. Before Independence you were the second developed country in Asia. You went behind poor and undeveloped India in the 1940s, it pushed you backward significantly.

    You are daydreaming that India will become a superpower. You think that the westen powers are going to give you the crown to rule the world :–))

    The westerners would kill themselves instead of living under corrupt Indians. The West is with h you to undermine China. Then they can easily brake you into pieces. Your heart and mind are darker than the color of your skin. We need to divide you further to make you think like a human being. India should be divided into a few more countries to fix corrupt and stupid leadership in South Asia.

  2. Non alliance policy is a disaster for Sri Lanka. In the 1940s you went behind poor and undeveloped India. Eventually, India created terrorism and destroyed you. When you go behind dark minds, you will end up paying a heavy price. You have paid a huge price and you will continue to pay a huge price. Indians can’t even imagine to create a project similar to Port City project because Indians cannot make money like China. Indians are following the western system which was implemented by the western powers to keep the world’s majority under the west. We all know India can not compete with China. Sri Lankans who think within a small circle have been going behind India based on religion, language and skin colour. Your religion, language or colour of your skin will not make you to become a developed country. This is why you are begging the world to survive.

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