India miffed at Colombo for allowing PLA satellite tracker ship in Hambantota | World News

Under the cover of a research and research vessel, a Chinese space and satellite tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 is en route to the Chinese-leased port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka on Aug. 11, despite serious objections from the Indian Navy.

A Luyang-class guided missile destroyer with Type 071 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) is also crossing the Indian Ocean and en route to China’s base in Djibouti on the east coast of Africa.

The Sri Lanka regime under Ranil Wickremesinghe has authorized the military satellite tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to dock at Hambantota from August 11 to 17 for refueling, rest, recreation, and supplies. Incidentally, the port of Hambantota was given as Prime Minister to China in 2017 for a 99-year lease by Ranil Wickremesinghe.

It is clear that Sri Lanka was forced to let the Chinese ship into the port of Hambantota after the Beijing envoy to Colombo made his way with the Wickremesinghe regime and made it clear that refusing permission would affect bilateral relations .

Despite the Indian Navy’s objections to docking the military guard ship, the Sri Lankan cabinet spokesman stated on Aug. 2 that the strategic guard ship would only come to refuel. “The president told the cabinet that diplomatic efforts will be made to work with both countries so as not to cause any problems,” said spokesman Bandula Gunawardana.

Whatever the diplomat used by Colombo to justify the Chinese ship’s entry into Hambantota, the fact is that Sri Lanka owes more than 10 percent of its foreign debt to China, as the money at high interest rates from the Chinese Exim Bank has dug in to support white elephant projects such as the port of Hambantota and the international airport. Simply put, Sri Lanka cannot afford to annoy China as Colombo, like Islamabad, is a brand ambassador of President Xi Jinping’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI).

India, for its part, has not responded kindly to this move by Sri Lanka, as the military vessel is also involved in ocean mapping, which is critical to anti-submarine operations by China’s PLA navy. India’s virtual rejection comes at a time when the Modi government has done its best to support Sri Lanka during the ongoing economic crisis by donating more than $3.5 billion for the purchase of food, fuel and cooking gas.

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