The Yuan Wang 5, China’s missile and satellite tracking ship berthed at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, will leave at 4 PM today (22), said the Harbour Master of the Hambantota Port Exclusively to News 1st.
The Yuan Wang 5 is one of China’s latest generation survey vessel officially entered Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka on Tuesday 16th August 2022 replenishment purposes.
Sri Lanka granted permission for the high-tech Chinese tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota Port in a backdrop marred with controversy.
Diplomatic clearance for the Chinese vessel to make a port call at the Hambantota port from 11-17 August, 2022 for replenishment purposes was granted by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreing Affairs, however due to concerns raised by various factions including India, the Ministry requested China to defer the visit of the said vessel to the Hambantota port.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not provide any reason for the request.
When the request to defer the visit of the vessel was made, the Yuan Wang 5 had already set sail to Sri Lanka leaving its port of origin on the 14th of July, and it was already in the Indian Ocean.
The vessel thereafter slowed down and moved over the Ninety East Ridge, a mid-ocean ridge on the Indian Ocean floor named for its near-parallel strike along the 90th meridian at the center of the Eastern Hemisphere.
On 16th August 2022, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Spokesperson & Minister Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the Chinese ballistic missiles and satellite tracking vessel was requested to delay their visit due to concerns voiced by India.
He said that a request was made from China to defer the arrival until Sri Lanka cleared out the concerns of its neighbor India.
Yuan Wang 5 is a third-generation tracking ship of the Yuan Wang Series. It has top-of-the-line antennas and electronic equipment to track ballistic missiles and satellite.
The Chinese Reasearch Vessel fleet boats of twin vessels identified as Yuan Wang 5 and Yuan Wang 6.