regular-article-logo Thursday, 08 June 2023

China advice to ‘third party’ on Lanka ties

Statement after India raises security concerns about the presence of a Chinese vessel that can track missiles and satellites in the Indian Ocean

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 09.08.22, 03:27 AM
A Chinese research vessel.

A Chinese research vessel. Twitter

China on Monday said it was “senseless to pressure” Sri Lanka to defer the planned docking of Chinese “research/survey” ship at Hambantota port after India raised security concerns about the presence of the vessel that can track missiles and satellites in the Indian Ocean.

According to a PTI report from Beijing, when asked about Sri Lanka’s decision to ask China to defer the arrival of the vessel in Hambantota after India raised concerns, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters: “The cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is independently chosen by the two countries and meets common interests. It does not target any third party”.


It is “senseless to pressure Sri Lanka” by citing security concerns, Wenbin said, referring to reports that Sri Lanka’s move was attributed to concerns expressed by India. “Sri Lanka is a sovereign state. It can develop relations with other countries in the light of its own development interests.”

Wang added: “China urges relevant parties to see China’s scientific explorations in a reasonable and sensible way and stop disturbing the normal exchange between China and Sri Lanka.”

The Chinese vessel, Yuan Wang 5, was scheduled to dock at Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka from August 11 to 17.

External affairs ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi had on July 28 aired India’s concerns when asked about the scheduled presence of the Chinese ship at Hambantota port for a week.

“We are aware of reports of a proposed visit by this vessel at Hambantota port in August. Let me just say that the government carefully monitors any development having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them. I think that should be a clear message.”

On Saturday, reports from Sri Lanka said the foreign affairs ministry had requested China to defer the arrival of Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota “till further consultations are made on this matter”.

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