Sri Lanka Demand Chinese Ship Delay its Arrival Under India’s Pressure

On August 7th, Sri Lanka has requested the Chinese ship, Yuanwang 5, postpone its plans to visit the island nation. The Indian Government opposes the ship’s visit due to the possibility the ship being used for spying.

The Chinese Government said the ship is for research and study, which was scheduled to port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on August 11th. Analysts describe the Yuanwang 5 as one of Beijing’s newest space survey vessels to monitor launches of satellites, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Hambantota port is lease by Communist China and is geographically close to India and major shipping routes. India is concerned that Beijing may convert the port to a military base, later using it against India. The port may also be used to hinder trade between Asia to Europe. 

Diplomatic relations between India and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have been strained since a border clash occurred between the two countries in 2020. The clash left at least 20 Indians and four Chinese soldiers dead, and led to a massive build-up of troops from both sides.

Last week, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan Government said the vessel was docked in Hambantota for supplies.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

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