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Sri Lanka asks China to defer arrival of ship after India objects

COLOMBO (Reuters) Sri Lanka has asked China to defer the planned visit of a Chinese survey ship to the island country after an objection from India, a government source told Reuters on Sunday.

The Chinese research and survey vessel, Yuan Wang 5, was still coming to Sri Lankas Hambantota port. It really is scheduled to reach there on Aug. 11, in accordance with shipping data from Refinitiv.

India worries that the Chinese-built and leased port of Hambantota will undoubtedly be utilized by China as a military base in Indias backyard. The $1.5 billion port is close to the main shipping route from Asia to Europe.

Chinas foreign ministry didn’t immediately react to a obtain touch upon Sunday.

The other day, a spokesperson for the Sri Lankan government said the ship was only stopping at Hambantota for refuelling.

China is among Sri Lankas biggest lenders and contains also financed airports, roads and railways, unsettling India.

As Sri Lanka battles its worst overall economy in seven decades, India this season alone has provided it nearly $4 billion in support.

Diplomatic relations between India and China have already been strained since clashes in 2020 between troops along a remote Himalayan border. At the very least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in the fighting, which resulted in an enormous build-up of troops on both sides.

Foreign security analysts describe the Yuan Wang 5 as you of Chinas latest space-tracking ships, used to monitor satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

(Reporting by Waruna Cudah Nimal Karunatilake in Colombo. Additional reporting by Martin Pollard in Beijing. Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar)

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