Obviously of interest to us – Jaishankar on Yuan Wang 5

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said on Wednesday (17) that any developments which have a bearing on India’s security are “obviously of an interest to us”.

“What happens in our neighbourhood, any developments which have a bearing on our security obviously are of an interest to us,” Jaishankar said at a Joint Press Conference after the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting and MoU signing ceremony.

The Chinese tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 docked at the Chinese-built Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka’s deep south on Tuesday (17) and remains in port.

According to clearance issued by the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the vessel will remain in Hambantota for a period of 7 days for replenishment purposes.

According to Colombo-based official sources, both India and the U.S. had conveyed their apprehensions to the Sri Lankan Government at the highest level, citing the vessel’s “military capabilities” while in the Indian Ocean Region.

Both India and the US have conveyed to the Sri Lankan side their concerns about the call by the vessel, used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to track satellites and ballistic missiles.

The Indian Navy keeps a close watch on extra-regional activity in the Indian Ocean region, especially the movement and presence of Chinese vessels such as the Yuan Wang 5, India navy officials said on condition of anonymity.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Tuesday (16) that the marine scientific research activities of the Yuanwang-5 ship are consistent with international law and international customary practice.

He said that they do not affect the security and economic interests of any country and should not be obstructed by any third party.

He added that China has been doing its utmost to support and help Sri Lanka pull through the difficulties, and will continue to do so.

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