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Chinese vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' to reach Sri Lankan port on Aug 16

Despite India's concerns, Sri Lanka allows ship to dock at Hambantota port

Yuan Wang 5twitter Yuan Wang 5 | Twitter

The Chinese research tracking vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' is all set to reach Hambantota port on August 16 and stay on the Sri Lankan waters till August 22 after the island nation granted permission for the vessel to dock at the southern port.

The vessel is expected conduct satellite control and research tracking of China’s satellites in the North Western part of the Indian Ocean region through August and September, according to highly placed sources in Sri Lanka. The ship was earlier scheduled to arrive on August 11 and stay on till August 17. However, after India expressed its strong security concerns, Sri Lanka requested China to defer the vessel's visit. China, however, termed India’s concerns “senseless”. 

Even the United States had raised concerns over the Chinese ship's visit to the island nation. US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung met President Ranil Wickremesinghe and raised her country's concerns. Following this, Sri Lanka's  Foreign Minister Ali Sabry asked both India and the US to give “concrete reasons” for their objection. 

The island government gave permission for the Chinese ship to enter its waters on Friday as both India and the US allegedly failed to give “reasons” for their objections.

The vessel which is around 600 nautical miles away in the sea is now heading fast towards the Hambantota port.

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