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Controversial Chinese 'research' ship Yuan Wang 5 docks in Sri Lanka's Hambantota

There were apprehensions expressed by India that the Chinese vessel's tracking systems may attempt to snoop on Indian defence installations while on its way to the Sri Lankan port. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry statement said that the final clearance for the docking was given after the country's government engaged in extensive consultations at a high-level through diplomatic channels.

Controversial Chinese 'research' ship Yuan Wang 5 docks in Sri Lanka's Hambantota
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Hambantota, First Published Aug 16, 2022, 10:25 AM IST

Days after Sri Lanka asked China to defer the port call of its high-tech Chinese research ship amid India's concerns over its presence in its neighbourhood, the controversial vessel docked at the island nation's southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday.

The Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship 'Yuan Wang 5' arrived at 8.20 am local time and is expected to be docked at the port till August 22. The ship was originally scheduled to dock at the port on August 11. However, the docking was delayed due following the denial of permission by the Sri Lankan authorities.

Also Read: Sri Lanka grants permission to Chinese spy ship 'Yuan Wang 5' to dock: Reports

Even though Colombo had asked Beijing to defer the ship's visit amid Indian concerns, on Saturday, it granted the port access to the vessel from August 16 to 22. Sri Lanka defence ministry gave the security clearance for replenishment purposes during the stipulated period. According to defence ministry officials, no rotation of personnel would take place during the port call.

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry said that as far as handling the issue of the Chinese vessel Wang Yang 5 was concerned, cooperation and security in the neighbourhood are of utmost priority. The local telecommunications regulatory authority had issued a No Objection Letter for the use of communication equipment and frequencies on the condition of non-protection and non-interference.

There were apprehensions in New Delhi that while on its way to the Sri Lankan port, the Chinese vessel's tracking systems may attempt to snoop on Indian defence installations.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry statement said that the final clearance for the docking was given after the country's government engaged in extensive consultations at a high-level through diplomatic channels. The statement further said that the Sri Lankan government took into account the principle of sovereign equality of states and the interests of all parties concerned.

Also Read: No port call by high-tech Chinese ship 'Yuan Wang 5' at Sri Lanka's Hambantota: Official

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