China’s spy ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ docked at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port despite India’s security concerns. The ship was allowed to anchor on the condition that it could not conduct research in Sri Lankan waters, port officials said. BBC news.

There has been a lot of discussion in the international circles about the ship for some time. India had strong objection to anchoring the ship in the beginning.

India had earlier expressed concern that the ship could be used to spy on their activities.

Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said the ship would be allowed to stay at the Chinese-run port until August 22.

Foreign security analysts quoted by Reuters have described the ‘Yuan Wang 5’ as one of China’s latest generation space-tracking vessels. It is used to monitor satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

Several Indian media reports described it as a ‘dual-use spy ship’. Shipping analytics websites have reported it as a research and survey vessel.

Indian media NDTV reports that New Delhi is concerned about the possibility of the ship’s tracking system trying to snoop on Indian installations while en route to Sri Lanka.

In early July, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said the government was monitoring the ship’s planned visit. Delhi will protect its security and economic interests.

According to a Reuters report, India had verbally protested to the Sri Lankan government against the ship’s visit.

Earlier this month Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry asked China to postpone the ship’s port call. It also commented that it needs further consultation.

China responded, citing so-called ‘security concerns’ to pressure Sri Lanka due to some countries being completely absurd. However, China did not mention the name of any country.

Sri Lanka then announced that the ship was allowed to anchor.

(16 Aug)