Sri Lanka permits entry to controversial Chinese tracking vessel Yuang Wang 5
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has permitted Chinese tracking vessel Yuang Wang 5 to dock at the Chinese-built Hambantota Port in the island’s deep south, the website of a local English weekly newspaper reported.
According to Times Online, the website of the privately owned Sunday Times, the government of Sri Lanka granted entry permission to the ship on Friday August 12 after the governments of India and the United States failed to provide “concrete reasons” for why they opposed its arrival.
When EconomyNext contacted Foreign Minister Ali Sabry Friday evening, the minister refused to comment.
Sri Lankan authorities had first given clearance to the Chinese vessel on July 12, to make a port call at the Hambantota Port from August 11 to 17 for replenishment purposes.
However, after concern about the tracking vessel’s anticipated arrival were raised by the US and India, Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry requested China to defer the port call until “further consultations”.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to reaffirm the enduring friendship and excellent relations between Sri Lanka and China which remain on a solid foundation, as reiterated most recently by the two Foreign Ministers Ali Sabry and Wang Yi at a bilateral meeting in Phonm Penh, Cambodia on 4 August, 2022,” a foreign ministry statement said.
“At this first meeting between the two Foreign Ministers, Minister Sabry referred to Sri Lanka’s firm commitment to the one-China policy which has been a consistent principle in the country’s foreign policy,” it said.
According to the Times Online report on Friday, clearance to anchor the vessel was granted by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Defence Ministry and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) before President Wickremesinghe took over. But Indian news reports claim that New Delhi had not been informed at the time until it sought clarification from Colombo, the report said. (Colombo/Aug13/2022)