Sri Lanka, in May, rejected China’s request of docking its submarine at Colombo dockyard following the arrival of Indian Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi in the island, the Sri Lankan officials said on Thursday. Sri Lanka had last docked Chinese submarine in October 2014 which had received fierce condemnation from India.
Further disclosing the matter, senior Sri Lankan government official said, “Sri Lanka was ‘unlikely’ to agree to China’s request to dock the submarine at any time, given India’s concerns.
After Sri Lanka had docked China in 2014, a fierce criticism erupted from India which is worried over the growing Chinese activities in the country. India considers Sri Lanka as a great part of its influence.
A second official from the defense ministry said that even though the China’s current request to dock a submarine was rejected, the decision of future docking had been postponed.
As per sources, Chinese embassy confirmed that China had requested permission for docking but was still awaiting a response.
After being snubbed by Sri Lanka, sources suggest that the Chinese Yuan-class conventional submarine — which was picked by Indian Navy’s Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft hovering in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) — is likely to be heading towards Karachi to dock.
Both India and China have invested heavily in the island. China, in Sri Lanka funded the construction of airports, roads, railways and ports, unsettling India.
Traditionally the closest economic partner of the island, India serves with more than 70% of the trans-shipment in Colombo.