South East Asian Headlines & Breaking News

Chinese research vessel permitted to make port call in Sri Lanka in Nov

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry says the Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 has been given permission to dock in Sri Lanka.

Joining the current affairs program on TV Derana last night (Oct. 09), the lawmaker said the Sri Lankan government has permitted the Chinese ship to dock here in November, although China has sought a port call in October.

Sabry said the Sri Lankan government, however, maintains that the port call should be made in November.

“This is not a mere visit,” the foreign minister said adding that the island needs to be prepared to provide all required facilities during its stay. “We have assigned them a date [to dock the ship] after considering the internal matters.”

Speaking further, the foreign affairs minister underscored Sri Lanka’s bilateral relations with China are of great importance.

India remains concerned about the scheduled arrival of another Chinese vessel in Sri Lanka, after the high-tech research ship Yuan Wang-5 made a port call in August last year. India has expressed its security concerns over the research vessel’s capability of mapping the ocean bed, which is critical to anti-submarine operations of the Chinese navy.

In September 2023, Sabry told Indian media that the Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 was not given permission to make a port call in October, as negotiations were still on.

He also highlighted that India’s security concerns, which he said were ‘legitimate’, were ‘important’ for the island nation.

According to reports, the Chinese vessel Shi Yan 6 is expected to conduct research with the National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency (NARA).

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