• Last Update 2022-12-01 15:28:00

Hambantota port bound Chinese vessel Yuan Wang 5 changes course amidst diplomatic concerns

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The Chinese-built Yuan Wang 5 tracking and survey vessel changed its course from making a scheduled port visit to Hambantota port tomorrow after the visit caused diplomatic tensions with Sri Lanka’s friendliest nations, informed sources said.

The Times Online learns that New Delhi took up the security concerns regarding the nature of the visit by the Chinese vessel with Sri Lankan authorities ahead of India’s independence day celebrations on August 15. 

“ We have already asked China to defer the visit of this vessel following concerns raised in many quarters including India’s strategic and sensitive concerns,” a highly placed source in the government rank told the Times Online. 

According to Maritimeoptima.com, a digital vessel tracking platform, the Chinese vessel is currently at some 600 nautic miles away from Hambantota port and appeared to be slowing down its speed. 

Earlier Foreign Ministry communicated to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombo to defer the visit of the said vessel to the Hambantota port despite diplomatic clearance for the Chinese vessel to make a port call at the Hambantota port from August​ 11-17. 

Meanwhile, the government reportedly granted permission to the Chinese built-Pakistani guided missile frigate PNS Taimur to make a port call at Colombo while on its way to join the Pakistan Navy in Karachi. 

Build by Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, the warship is on its maiden voyage to Pakistan while exercising en-route with Cambodian and Malaysian navies, according to foreign news reports. 

The ship is expected to be at Colombo port from August 12-15, 2022.
Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Taimur visited Malaysia and participated in a bilateral exercise called MAL-PAK IV.

 

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