Colombo, Aug 16, 2022 – A controversial Chinese ship with ballistic missile and satellite tracking facilities which was deferred and delayed at the request of Sri Lanka arrived on Tuesday at the island nation’s Hambantota port run by Beijing.
The hi-tech vessel, Yuan Wang 5, which was to arrive originally on August 11 was delayed following concerns raised by India, the US and other countries.
But on August 13, it was cleared by the Sri Lankan government after Beijing raising strong objections.
China charged that India, Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour which has helped the country in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis by providing nearly $4 billion in financial support, was responsible for stopping the arrival of the vessel.
Accusing India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had earlier said that it was “completely unjustified for certain countries to cite the so-called ‘security concerns’ to pressure Sri Lanka”.
However India rejected China’s allegations.
“We reject categorically the insinuation and such statement about India. Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and makes its own independent decisions,”India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.
After Sri Lanka cleared the Yuan Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota port from August 16 to 22, the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Colombo said this was after the island nation “engaged in extensive consultations at a high level through diplomatic channels with all parties concerned” and seeking “further information and material”. (Agency)