Sri Lanka approves request to dock Chinese Research / Survey Vessel Shi Yan 6
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence has granted approval for the Chinese Research / Survey Vessel Shi Yan 6 to dock at the ports of Sri Lanka.
According to the Ministry of Defence, Chinese Research / Survey Vessel Shi Yan 6 will carry out research on Sri Lankan waters with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).
However NARA said the vessels’ arrival is part of an agreement reached with the Ruhuna University of Sri Lanka.
A Spokesman of the Ministry of Defence stated that the approval was granted following a request made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NARA.
Chinese Research / Survey Vessel Shi Yan 6 will reach Sri Lanka on October 25, and will be involved in research operations in the Sea of Sri Lanka for a period of 17 days.
The Chinese state broadcaster CGTN calls the Shi Yan 6 a “scientific research vessel” crewed by 60 that carries out oceanography, marine geology and marine ecology tests.
Last year, India raised concerns over a Sri Lanka port call in Hambantota by Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5, which specialises in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship.
India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka, seeing both as firmly within its sphere of influence.
Sri Lanka is strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.
Meanwhile, China last year said it was “completely unjustified for certain countries” to cite “security concerns” to pressure Sri Lanka.
This is not the first time that the Chinese Research / Survey Vessel Shi Yan 6 will be visiting Sri Lanka.
The Shi Yan 6, Research and Survey Vessel had previously visited Sri Lanka on the 20th of April 2022, and remained in the Sea of Sri Lanka for a total of ten days.
Over the past few years, a large number of vessels have reached Sri Lankan ports, and a majority of them are Chinese research and survey vessels.
These vessels include the Shi Yan 6, Shi Yan 1, Shi Yan 3, Xiang Yang Hong 3, Xiang Yang Hong 18, Xiang Yang Hong 1, Xiang Yang Hong 6, and Xiang Yang Hong 19.