COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka has requested China to defer the deliberate go to of a Chinese language survey ship to the island nation after an objection from India, a authorities supply informed Reuters on Sunday.
The Chinese language analysis and survey vessel, Yuan Wang 5, was nonetheless on its approach to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port. It’s scheduled to reach there on Aug. 11, in keeping with delivery knowledge from Refinitiv.
India worries that the Chinese language-built and leased port of Hambantota might be utilized by China as a navy base in India’s yard. The $1.5 billion port is close to the primary delivery route from Asia to Europe.
China’s overseas ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Sunday.
Final week, a spokesperson for the Sri Lankan authorities mentioned the ship was solely stopping at Hambantota for refuelling.
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China is one in every of Sri Lanka’s largest lenders and has additionally financed airports, roads and railways, unsettling India.
As Sri Lanka battles its worst financial disaster in seven a long time, India this 12 months alone has offered it almost $4 billion in assist.
Diplomatic relations between India and China have been strained since clashes in 2020 between troops alongside a distant Himalayan border. Not less than 20 Indian and 4 Chinese language troopers have been killed within the preventing, which led to an enormous build-up of troops on either side.
International safety analysts describe the Yuan Wang 5 as one in every of China’s newest space-tracking ships, used to watch satellite tv for pc, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
(Reporting by Waruna Cudah Nimal Karunatilake in Colombo. Extra reporting by Martin Pollard in Beijing. Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar)
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