No Ordinary Port Call: Chinese boat heads to Hambantota port

New Delhi: Yuan Wang 5, a Chinese scientific research vessel, will enter Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on August 11 for a week. It is expected to leave on August 17 after replenishment.

Shipping information from Refinitiv Eikon confirmed analysis and survey vessel Yuan Wang 5 was en route to the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota and was anticipated to arrive on Aug 11. The Yuan Wang 5 is entering Hambantota, which was built by the Chinese in recent years at a huge cost that the economically challenged Sri Lankan government could not pay.

India stated on Thursday it was conscious of experiences concerning the deliberate go-to of a Chinese vessel to a Sri Lankan port Hambantota constructed with cash from Beijing. “The government carefully monitors any developments having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them,” Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, said in his weekly media briefing.

Bagchi didn’t say what measures India will be taking. “I think that there should be a clear message.”

A Sri Lankan official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Indian diplomats in Colombo had lodged a verbal protest with the Sri Lankan foreign ministry on Monday.

The Belt & Road Initiative, Sri Lanka says on its website that Yuan Wang 5 may be in Hambantota for a week. “The vessel will conduct space tracking, satellite control, and research tracking in the north-western part of the Indian Ocean region through August and September,” it says.

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: The Island)

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