China ‘arm-twisted’ Sri Lanka for spy ship

Spread the love

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 21: Diplomatic circle is abuzz with claims that China arm-twisted Sri Lanka to allow its military spy ship Yuan Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota Port for over a week, laced with all the gadgets to study the sea-bed and also the extent of the low-orbit satellites.

Indian diplomats who have served in Sri Lanka have noted that Beijing ‘blackmailed’ Sri Lanka by flexing its financial muscle.

Sri Lanka wanted to show some movements on the parts of its large lenders for restructuring of the foreign debt before the arrival of a team of the International Monetary Fund in Colombo, a first since the outbreak of the popular campaign against the former president of the island nation Gotabaya Rajapaska.

China has, according to the diplomatic sources, been pushing Colombo to the wall to work against the interests of India by not showing any interests in restructuring its loan book to Sri Lanka, which is a precondition for any forward movement with the international financial institutions.

The foreign media commentators, incidentally, have taken a grim view of the inability of the Indian government to stop the Chinese spy ship, a People’s Liberation Army (PMA) vessel, to dock at the Hambantota Port, built with Beijing’s money and also leased to the dragon on similar pattern as seen in Australia and Africa.

Indian diplomats are seen sparring at some of the social media platforms with their foreign counterparts, with some of them arguing that India couldn’t have pushed Sri Lankan President Ranil Vickremesinghe further on account of the limited financial war chest to counter the Chinese ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ debt-trap strategy of Beijing.

It is also stated among the diplomatic circles that the Sri Lankan officials were refused entry in the Yuan Wang 5 ship. This pushes Sri Lanka into further spot, as the ship’s nature is not revealed to the nation, raising a serious question mark on the sovereignty of the island nation and the leadership of Vickeremesinghe.

Ironically, the US, which has shown a belated interest in countering the naval superiority of China was also caught napping, as Washington remains, true to its nature, aloof to the happening in South Asia.

The strategic affairs commentators noted that Sri Lanka, Maldives and similar countries remain little dots on oceans for the US, which remains overly busy with its interests in the Middle-East, Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

The Chinese spy ship will remain docked at the Sri Lankan port till Monday by which it would have gained significant intelligence of the Indian strategic assets, besides gaining further familiarity with waters in the Indian neighbourhood.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *