According to Sri Lankan news outlets, the Chinese espionage ship Yuan Wang 5 arrived at the Hambantota Port on Tuesday morning. The arrival of the Yuan Wang 5 espionage ship in Sri Lanka has created a diplomatic issue for India and its allies.
The Hambantota Port was built with Chinese funds, and the insolvent country has given the port a 99-year lease as part of a debt swap.
The port is strategically important to India because it considers the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to be an area of traditional influence. India also raised concerns with the Sri Lankan government in 2014 after it allowed a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to dock in one of its ports, resulting in a nearly identical situation after eight years.
The spy ship’s arrival in the port has generated worries in India, which fears the spy ship may endanger the safety and security of the nuclear reactors at Kudankulam and Kalpakkam, as well as the ports of Chennai and Thoothukudi.
Though China refers to the Yuan Wang 5 as a research vessel, the Pentagon claims that these ships in the Yuan Wang series are outfitted with cutting-edge antennae and electronic technology that can track and assist in the launch of missiles and rockets.
Earlier, US Ambassador Julie Chung expressed alarm over the ship’s landing at Hambantota Port, but Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe dismissed the diplomat’s concerns.
According to China, the ship will remain parked until it refills and refuels for the next leg of its voyage.
Sri Lanka, which was already in an economic crisis, was compelled to deal with this geopolitical issue, and after India expressed concerns, they urged China to postpone its arrival.
The ship arrives at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has yet to accept the bailout and Sri Lanka is waiting for the Chinese government to make a good declaration concerning Sri Lanka’s prior request to delay Chinese financing.
Sri Lanka has also asked China to accept a bridge finance agreement to tide it over until the IMF rescue monies come.
China had previously offered huge loans to Sri Lanka, trapping it in debt, but did not respond when it requested a bailout package as demonstrations erupted in Colombo as the country went bankrupt.
The action also irritated the Indian government, which had provided $4 billion in aid to Sri Lanka during its crisis, via numerous lines of credit, to purchase basic commodities such as gasoline, food, and medicines.