COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday brushed aside Indian concerns over a scheduled visit by a Chinese ship, saying it was coming only to refuel and replenish supplies.

The research and survey ship Yuan Wang 5 is due to dock in the Chinese-run Hambantota Port, in southern Sri Lanka, on August 11, according to analytics website MarineTraffic.

Indian media reports said that New Delhi was worried the vessel would be used to spy on its activities and that it had lodged a complaint with Colombo.

Sri Lankan government spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said that the cabinet discussed the ship’s visit on Monday and that it would still be allowed to dock.

“Both India and China are helping us at this very crucial time when we are facing an unprecedented economic crisis,” Gunawardena said.

“The President (Ranil Wickremesinghe) informed the cabinet that this matter will be diplomatically resolved by talking to all sides. Both are important friends.”

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022

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