5 reasons why India is worried about the security of Yuang Wang 5 in Hambantota
Amid India’s security concerns and some back and forth, a Chinese vessel finally docked at the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota today. Sri Lanka had previously asked China to postpone the visit. But where do India’s worries about the ship come from?
Here are 5 reasons:
The Yuang Wang 5 has sensors that could track Indian ballistic missiles if they are tested. India tested a missile at Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
China, using the ship’s high-tech capabilities, will be able to assess the range and accuracy of the Indian missile, if tested. The ship is expected to remain in port for “additional purposes” until August 22. It left China on July 14 and did not enter a port before Hambantota, setting sail for more than a month.
Yuang Wang 5 can also conduct ocean surveys that can facilitate submarine operations in the Indian Ocean. In 2021, a Chinese government survey vessel – Xiang Yang Hong 03 – is operating in the same area in the Indian Ocean and conducting a search pattern west of Sumatra.
India-Lanka relations soured after Colombo allowed a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to dock at one of its ports in 2014. This time, Sri Lanka said. ships will have to switch to an Automatic Identification System (AIS). and it is not allowed to do scientific research. The Sri Lanka Port Authority also said that although a Chinese company was in charge of the Hambantota port, the operational problems were handled by this company.
India’s interest is centered on the Hambantota port, which was leased to China Merchant Port Holdings for 99 years after Sri Lanka failed to pay its development loans. This has led to frequent concerns about its use for military purposes. China, which has a border conflict with India, is Sri Lanka’s main creditor for infrastructure investments. However, India is Sri Lanka’s essential source of supply during the burgeoning economic crisis.