Sri Lanka defers visit of China's satellite tracking ship to Hambantota port

Edited By: Rustam Roy
Colombo Updated: Aug 06, 2022, 03:53 PM(IST)

File photo of Hambantota Port. Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

The Chinese space-satellite tracker ship was set to refuel at the Lankan port. The ship built in 2007 can also be used in intercontinental ballistic missile launch with wide aerial scope to track regions

According to reports, the Sri Lankan government has asked China to defer the arrival of Yuan Wang 5 ship at Hambantota port.

The Chinese space-satellite tracker ship was set to refuel at the Lankan port. The ship built in 2007 can also be used in intercontinental ballistic missile launch with wide aerial scope to track regions with a parameter of 750 kms. Reports claimed Sri Lanka has deferred the ship's arrival until further consultations with Chinese authorities.

Also Read: India raises concern over Chinese vessel’s proposed visit 

India had earlier raised concerns over China's decision to station the ship on Hambantota port. The strategic port was leased to a Chinese company by Sri Lanka after it failed to pay its loans. China has consistently denied that Sri Lanka has been clamped into a debt trap even as there has been virtually no economic activity in Hambantota.

Watch: Sri Lanka wants its 'debt trap' Hambantota port back

Sri Lanka is currently battling the worst economic crisis in its history with sky high inflation and acute shortage of fuel and electricity.

Earlier this week, police in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu had beefed up coastal security as the Chinese vessel was set to reach Hambantota. The Sri Lankan defence ministry had announced the arrival of the ship which was set to reach on August 11 and then continue on its journey on August 17.

Indian officials had reportedly informed Sri Lanka that the Chinese ship could pose a threat to its national security. India's external affairs ministry informed it was monitoring the development closely since it "bears on India's security and economic interests". The external affairs ministry had said it would take "all necessary measures" to ensure India's security. 

A Pentagon report claimed earlier that the Yuan Wang ships are operated by the Strategic Support Force of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

(With inputs from agencies)

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