Chinese ship is not a military ship, so we did not stop
In an interview to defense website Stratnews Global, Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Hambantota is not a military port. The Chinese ship was allowed to come to Hambantota during the tenure of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He was coming as a research ship. That’s why we allowed it. If we needed some basis to change our decision. We did not find any such ground and we did not want to get into an argument about it, which we lose. They (China) also made some delay in reaching Hambantota. We could not find any reason for the cancellation of the ship’s arrival. India also did not give any reason.
Sri Lankan President said – we were assured
He said that China had assured us that it would not do any work in Sri Lankan waters. But this is in our territory, outside that if they want to spy on India, they can. So we could only assure that there would be no activity against India in our waters. So we allowed the Chinese ship. We are also looking at re-classifying non-military ships. The problem is that even a civilian ship can be used for military purposes. Soldiers can be taken from cruise liners.
Chinese ship reached Hambantota on 16 August
The Chinese ship reached Hambantota on 16 August and remained there for refueling. Sri Lanka allowed the ship to remain in port from 16 August to 22 August with the condition that it would keep the automatic identification system in the Sri Lankan Exclusive Economic Zone and that no scientific research would be conducted in Sri Lankan waters. There were apprehensions in New Delhi that Chinese ship surveillance systems may try to spy on Indian defense installations en route to the Sri Lankan port.
China’s spy ship is equipped with powerful radar
China’s spy ship Yuan Wang 5 is equipped with extremely powerful radar and state-of-the-art technology. The ship can also detect intercontinental ballistic missile launches apart from space and satellite tracking. It is the third generation tracking ship of the Yuan Wang series, which was put into service on 29 September 2007. The Ile ship has been designed by China’s 708 Research Institute. The ship is fitted with very powerful antennas which help it to conduct surveillance over long distances.
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