Will the ‘Yuan Wang-5’ ship further trouble Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resolve its serious economic crisis. President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced two days ago that the Sri Lankan government expects to reach a staff agreement with the IMF by the end of this month. However, the main obstacle for that is the fact that Sri Lanka’s main bilateral lender, China, has not yet expressed its willingness to restructure the loans given to the country. Because of this, President Ranil is going to make a special visit to China in the near future in order to obtain the relevant consent from China. However, while Sri Lanka is trying to make the IMF program a success, another new crisis is now being created. In other words, the country may have seen a new crisis arising due to the absence of a correct foreign policy of the Sri Lankan government and continuing to bow to China. That crisis is the tension that is building with the preparation of a Chinese high-tech ship (spy ship) to arrive at Hambantota port. That is, India is uneasy with China’s influence on the Indian Ocean region.
The high-tech research ship named ‘Yuan Wang-5’, which has left Jiangjing port in China, is scheduled to stay at Hambantota port from 11th to 17th August. According to the BRISL website related to Sri Lanka in China’s failed infrastructure development program, One Road-One Belt (BRI), which runs from Asia to Africa, the Chinese ship is expected to receive supplies including fuel and food during this week. The website states that the ship will be engaged in satellite control and research in the western Indian Ocean between August and September. According to reports, this ship has successfully completed more than 80 research missions for China, including guiding the ‘Long March 5B’ missile being tested by China.Since 1950, China has started its own space program. This ship was designed in conjunction with that program. The BRISL website outlines China’s position and says that the Indian Ocean does not belong to any single country and is shared among 35 countries. China has emphasized through the BRISL website that the Yuan Wang-5 ship is a registered ship of the International Maritime Organization and has been given the opportunity to sail under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The website points out that not only China, but also the United States, France and India use such ships.
Although China has made such clarifications regarding the arrival of its spy ship in Sri Lanka, India is very concerned about this high-tech ‘floating spy ship’ coming close to its ocean. Currently, as reported by the Indian media, the Indian Navy is closely monitoring the route of the Chinese ship. Also, the purpose of this ship’s arrival at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka is still unclear, according to Indian media. According to some Indian reports, such high-tech ships travel when missile tests are conducted in China or other countries.
The Yuan Wang-5 belongs to the Chinese Navy’s ‘Strategic Support Force’ and is used to launch satellites, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Indian media points out that the relevant ship is accused of not complying with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Thus, it is clear that a diplomatic heat is being created between India and China regarding the arrival of this Chinese high-tech spy ship at Hambantota port.
However, the current government of Sri Lanka, which continues to expect financial support from China, which has continuously deceived Sri Lanka, is following a fluid policy regarding this Chinese ship. Last week on Friday, after the national media disclosed about this Chinese ship, the Ministry of Defense responded for the first time and stated that its side has no reports of such a ship arriving in Sri Lanka. Although the government tried to suppress the news about this ship, last weekend India expressed serious concern about it and again made a statement saying that such ships come from time to time from different countries like India, China, Japan, Australia and it is “not unusual”. .
In order to fulfill a major condition of the International Monetary Fund, the support that Sri Lanka needs from China at this moment is a big one. China, which understands the need of Sri Lanka, which itself has been caught in a debt trap, is currently working to arrest Sri Lanka ‘by the neck first’. That is, China is using Sri Lanka to the best of its ability for all the activities that can be done in the region against India. Is China taking steps to send its spy ship to Hambantota at this moment by using Sri Lanka’s ‘indebtedness’ that cannot deny that attempt. However, the local media was not silent about this situation. It was questioned at the press conference announcing the Cabinet decision held last week. Minister of Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena, who gave an answer on behalf of the government, said that this Chinese ship is coming to Hambantota port only to get fuel and essential services. Accordingly, it can be clearly seen that the government is completely avoiding the tension that may arise in the Indian Ocean region due to this ship and is acting under the influence of China.
Based on US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China is currently responding seriously despite the opposition of the international community. The speaker arrived in Taiwan today (03), and upon her landing, China had launched many of its high-tech military planes and had warned America by sending several of its missiles into the air within the last week. It is already seen that Sri Lanka will have to face negative diplomatic results in the future like Taiwan due to the rising Indo-China maritime unrest based on the Wang-5 ship. Especially since the beginning of this year till now Sri Lanka has been helping the country a lot without allowing it to go towards a humanitarian crisis.

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