Another Chinese marine research vessel, Shi Yan 6 is expected to dock at Colombo and Hambantota deep sea ports in Sri Lanka by October this year, Indian media reported.
Although Sri Lanka has not given the green signal to Shi Yan 6 yet, reports said India’s strategic community is expecting the island nation to give its nod.
Indian media raised concerns that the development comes as Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently visited India and assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the country will take care of India’s sensitive security and strategic concerns.
According to Indian media reports, Shi Yan 6, a substantial weight of 3,999 tons and originating from Guangzhou, is presently situated within the South China Sea and is currently navigating in a southern direction.
Speculations are rife that researchers affiliated with Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) are set to commence a scientific expedition aboard the vessel Shi Yan 6, while the primary objective is to carry out an extensive survey encompassing both the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the island nation and the region of the southern Indian Ocean.
The Indian government has released no official word on the matter but as per Hindustan Times, the officials are engaging with Sri Lanka at the highest diplomatic levels.
In August 2022, controversy prevailed as Chinese high-tech research vessel known as Yuan Wang 5, successfully moored at the harbour of Hambantota.
-with inputs from agencies