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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Chinese Research Vessel Set To Dock in Sri Lanka, India Carefully Monitoring the Situation

China said in a statement, that it hopes "relevant parties" would abstain from any intervention in Chinese "legitimate maritime activities;" the remark subtly highlights the precarious position of Colombo being potentially caught in a net between India and China's territorial and political interests

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INDIA/SRI LANKA: After days of refusing to acknowledge reports of the scheduled arrival of a Chinese research vessel in Sri Lanka and “carefully monitoring” the situation, Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry on Saturday confirmed that the ship had assured clearance at the southern Hambantota port in August.

A spokesperson from the Ministry, Nalin Herath noted, “The vessel will be in Hambantota from August 11 to 17, mainly for replenishment, including fuel.”

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Reports of the controversial vessel Yuan Wang 5- embroiled in rumours of space and satellite tracking came to New Delhi’s notice earlier this week when External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told the weekly media briefing that India “carefully monitors any development having a bearing on its security and economic interests.”

Soon after this declaration from Sri Lanka, China said in a statement, that it hopes “relevant parties” would abstain from any intervention in Chinese “legitimate maritime activities”, according to news agency Reuters.

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 The remark subtly highlights the precarious position of Colombo being caught in a net between India and China’s territorial and political interests.

On the Sri Lankan side, Herath refused to explain why these reports were not confirmed beforehand but mentioned that “Such vessels periodically come from various countries such as India, China, Japan, Australia. It’s nothing unusual.”

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Despite dismissing any rumours of China’s potential plans to engage in a stand-off with India, geopolitical and geostrategic analysts are closely following the development after a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine Changzheng 2 docked at a Sri Lankan port in 2014.

ALSO READ: Sri Lanka to Get New President by July 20, Indian High Commissioner Meets Sri Lankan Speaker

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