Sri Lankan Defence Ministry Spokesman says that the Chinese research vessel “Shi Yan 6” has been granted permission to arrive in Sri Lanka.
“Approval granted on request by National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency NARA & Foreign Ministry for Chinese vessel ‘Shi Yan 6’ to carry out research on Sri Lankan waters with NARA”
The “Shi Yan 6,” known for its advanced research capabilities and state-of-the-art equipment, is expected to dock at a Sri Lankan port in the near future.
The research vessel is equipped with cutting-edge technology designed to facilitate a wide range of studies related to marine biology, geology, oceanography, and environmental monitoring.
China has requested permission for a research ship to dock in Sri Lanka following a visit by a spacecraft-tracking vessel last year that sparked security concerns from neighbouring India.
Sri Lankan foreign ministry spokeswoman Priyanga Wickramasinghe said Beijing had sought permission for the Shi Yan 6 to dock, but that no date had been set and the request was being processed.
India has been closely monitoring the increasing presence of Chinese vessels in Sri Lankan ports. The vessel’s entry has triggered fears of potential intelligence collection and surveillance activities by China in India’s immediate maritime neighborhood.
In the complex landscape of India-China rivalry for naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka’s commitment to neutrality emerges as a cornerstone. By preserving its sovereignty, promoting regional stability, and capitalizing on economic and strategic opportunities, Sri Lanka has the potential to play a constructive role in the region. Through these efforts, Sri Lanka can significantly contribute to peace, stability, and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean.