Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong had said in a statement that China was happy that Colombo had finally decided to allow the ship to dock at Hambantota port. “External obstruction based on so-called security concerns but without any evidence from certain forces is de facto a thorough interference into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence,” the statement said without directly naming India.
Reacting to the statement, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said it had noted the remarks of the Chinese Ambassador.
‘Reflects larger national attitude’
“His violation of basic diplomatic etiquette may be a personal trait or reflecting a larger national attitude. His view of Sri Lanka’s northern neighbour may be coloured by how his own country behaves. India, we assure him, is very different,” the office said in a series of tweets.
In another tweet the High Commission said: “His imputing a geopolitical context to the visit of a purported scientific research vessel is a giveaway… Opaqueness and debt-driven agendas are now a major challenge, especially for smaller nations. Recent developments are a caution. Sri Lanka needs support, not unwanted pressure or unnecessary controversies to serve another country’s agenda.”
The high-tech ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ was originally scheduled to arrive at the Chinese-run port on August 11 but it was delayed in absence of permission by Sri Lankan authorities following security concerns raised by India. It eventually docked on August 16 and then left for China on August 22.
On August 12, India had rejected China’s “insinuations” that New Delhi pressured Colombo against the visit by a Chinese research. There were apprehensions in New Delhi about the possibility of the Chinese vessel’s tracking systems attempting to snoop on Indian defence installations while being on its way to the Sri Lankan port.
The Chinese ambassador said that the incident was resolved properly which not only safeguards Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence but also defends international fairness and justice once again.
(With inputs from agencies)