Sri Lanka hails a Chinese ‘locator’ vessel docking at Hambantota Port on August 16. As the boat travels to the harborage in Sri Lanka, New Delhi worries that its monitoring systems may try to meddle in Indian installations.
On August 16, according to sanctioned sources, the Sri Lankan government will let a high-tech Chinese exploration boat land at the southern harborage of Hambantota.
It was planned for the Chinese ballistic bullet and satellite surveillance vessel, the “YunWang 5”, to dock on Thursday and stay in the harborage until August 17 to refuel. But last week, in response to India’s security worries, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry asked the Chinese delegation to put off the vessel’s appearance.
As a result, the boat didn’t arrive in the harborage of Hambantota on Thursday as listed. The administration eventually gave the boat authorization to land at the harborage, according to the sources. They stated that it’ll now arrive on August 16 and stay at the harborage until August 22. The boat was 600 nautical miles east of Hambantota and was waiting for authorization to enter.
Meanwhile, the situation caused a great deal of contestation in the islet country, with the opposition criminating the administration of handling the situation inaptly. Due to its position, the southern harborage of Hambantota is considered strategically important. Chinese backing has played a crucial part in the harborage’s development.
According to India, it constantly watches every development that might have an impact on its economic and security interests. When asked about the rumors of a possible visit by a Chinese warship, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi, “We’re apprehensive about reports of a proposed visit by this vessel to Hambantota in August.”
In a statement made last month, he added that the government “nearly watches any development impacting India’s security and profitable interests and takes all necessary measures to save them.” The eventuality that the boat’s shadowing outfit may try to meddle in Indian installations while it’s traveling to the harborage in Sri Lanka worries New Delhi.
India has always viewed Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean with skepticism and has previously opposed similar engagements with Sri Lanka. In 2014, after Colombo allowed a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to dock in one of its anchorages, relations between India and Sri Lanka deteriorated. India is particularly concerned about the harborage of Hambantota.
After Sri Lanka failed to meet its debt prepayment scores in 2017, Colombo leased the southern harborage to China Merchant Facility 99 times, raising concerns about the harborage’s possible use for military purposes.
On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that some countries’ pressure on Sri Lanka based on fictitious “security enterprises” was “completely unhappy.” India rejected China’s “imputations” that New Delhi exerted pressure on Colombo to defer the planned visit by the Chinese exploration vessel and stated on Friday that it would make opinions grounded on its security enterprises.
Arindam Bagchi, the prophet for the ministry of external affairs, stated that Sri Lanka is an autonomous country and is free to make its own independent opinions. He added that India would predicate its assessment of India’s security enterprises on the circumstances in the region, particularly in the border areas. Furthermore, more than any other creditor, China has made investments in Sri Lanka’s structure.
The islet’s success in the ongoing bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund would depend on the debt restructuring of Chinese loans. On the negative, India handed Sri Lanka a lifeline during its recent profitable extremity. As the island country faces its most profitable crisis since gaining independence in 1948, China has been at the forefront of providing Sri Lanka with roughly USD 4 billion in profitable aid.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma