Sri Lanka gives clearance to deferred arrival of Chinese scientific research vessel: reports
Published: Aug 15, 2022 12:46 AM
Yuan Wang 5 scientific research vessel Photo: VCG
Yuan Wang 5 scientific research vessel Photo: VCG

Sri Lanka's foreign ministry announced on Saturday the conveyance of clearance to the deferred arrival of the Chinese "Yuan Wang 5" scientific research vessel at the port of Hambantota between August 16 to 22, according to local media.

"Having considered all material in place," the clearance to the Chinese embassy in Colombo was given for the deferred port call, media reports said, citing a Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement.

The scientific research vessel was initially scheduled to make the port call for replenishment purposes between August 11 to 17. Indian media reported that the initial plan was deferred due to Indian pressure on Sri Lanka, citing so-called "national security concerns."

"In light of certain concerns raised with" the foreign ministry, the Sri Lankan government requested that the Chinese embassy defer the vessel's visit until further consultations on the matter, per the Saturday announcement, without naming New Delhi.

"It is completely unjustified for certain countries to cite so-called 'security concerns' to pressure Sri Lanka," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular press conference in Beijing on August 8, when asked to comment on the delayed visit.

As Sri Lanka grapples with economic and political difficulties, grossly interfering in Sri Lanka's normal exchange and cooperation with other countries exploits its vulnerability, which is morally irresponsible and goes against the basic norms governing international relations, the spokesperson said.

"We urge the relevant parties to see China's marine scientific research activities in a rational light and stop disrupting normal exchange and cooperation between China and Sri Lanka," he remarked.

Survey vessels are an important part of the aerospace measurement and control network. Compared with land surveying stations, survey vessels can flexibly select and deploy stations on the vast oceans, and maneuver emergency monitoring and control, a source told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

In late 1970s, the Yuan Wang 1 and the Yuan Wang 2, the first two ships of the survey series, were successively built. Accordingly, China has become the fourth country in the world to have space and ocean tracking and measurement capabilities after the US, Russia and France.

Global Times