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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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As its spy ship docks in Sri Lanka port, Beijing says: ‘This is life’

As the Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tv for pc monitoring ship Yuan Wang 5 arrived Tuesday morning at Hambantota port, a strategically vital deep sea port in southern Sri Lanka, Tuesday, China mentioned the actions of its vessel is not going to have an effect on the safety of any nation and shouldn’t be “obstructed” by any “third party” – a reference to India and its safety issues.

Asked about Delhi’s issues and the delay within the go to of the Chinese ship, Qi Zhenhong, Beijing’s envoy in Sri Lanka, who was current on the Hambantota port in the course of the ship’s arrival, instructed reporters, “I don’t know, you should ask the Indian friends… I don’t know. Maybe this is life.”

Last Saturday, Sri Lanka, which had deferred the go to of the Chinese army vessel following issues raised by India, made a U-turn and allowed the ship to dock on the Hambantota port from August 16 to 22.

Chinese Ship Sl 1 A high-tech Chinese analysis ship docked at Sri Lanka’s southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday. (Twitter/DailyMirrorSL)

The Yuan Wang 5 is a strong monitoring vessel whose important aerial reach — reportedly round 750 km — implies that a number of ports in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh might be on China’s radar.

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There was no official response from New Delhi to the event. On Sunday, forward of the ship’s arrival, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickemesinghe mentioned China is not going to be allowed to make use of the port of Hambantota for army functions.

Last week, earlier than Colombo’s U-turn, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs had mentioned, “Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and makes its own independent decisions.”

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Worry in India, US

Ever for the reason that Chinese took Hambantota port on a 99-year lease in 2017, India and the US have voiced concern that it might hurt their pursuits. Ships of the Yuan Wang class can monitor the lands they go.

In Beijing Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin mentioned Yuan Wang 5 has “successfully berthed” at Hambantota port with “active cooperation from the Sri Lankan side”.

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He mentioned when the ship arrived, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong hosted the onsite welcoming ceremony at Hambantota port, which Beijing took over on a 99-year lease as a debt swap in 2017.

Referring to Indian and US issues over the ship, Wang mentioned, “I want to stress again that the marine scientific research activities of the Yuan Wang 5 are consistent with international law and international common practice.”

“They do not affect the security and the economic interests of any country and should not be obstructed by any third party,” he mentioned.

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He mentioned the ceremony was attended by a consultant of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickramasinghe moreover “more than ten heads of parties and heads of friendly communities.”

“It will take some time for the Yuan Wang 5 research ship to complete the replenishment of necessary supplies,” he mentioned.

Ships of the Yuan Wang class are used to trace satellite tv for pc, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches. The ships complement Beijing’s land-based monitoring stations.

In the previous too, India has taken a robust view of the presence of Chinese army vessels within the Indian Ocean and has raised the matter with Sri Lanka.

Ties between India and Sri Lanka had earlier come underneath pressure over Colombo’s permission for a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to dock at certainly one of its ports in 2014.

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In 2017, Colombo leased the Hambantota port to China Merchants Port Holdings for 99 years, after Sri Lanka was unable to maintain its mortgage reimbursement commitments.

China is the primary creditor of Sri Lanka in funding in infrastructure. Debt restructuring of Chinese loans is vital to the island’s success in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

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India, alternatively, has been Sri Lanka’s lifeline within the ongoing financial disaster, extending financial help of nearly USD four billion.

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