Former head of Sri Lankan Navy pushes for Chinese espionage ship to dock in Hambantota Port
(MENAFN) The Sri Lankan government permitted the Chinese strategic support ship Yuan Wang 5, posing as a marine scientific research vessel, to land at Hambantota Port, which Beijing has leased to it for 99 years, at 4:00 am this morning. Till August 21, this ship will be at the Chinese port.
The Ranil Wickremesinghe administration failed to withstand pressure from the Xi Jinping administration after postponing the spy ship's docking at Hambantota port between August 11 and 17 in order to conduct additional consultations. Beijing threatened to obstruct a crucial IMF loan that would have forced Colombo into official bankruptcy.
The truth is that when the Wickremesinghe administration delayed the spy ship's arrival, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara, a former minister of public security and head of the navy, publicly criticized the decision.
Such is the influence of China in Sri Lanka that Mahinda Rajapaksa, a close ally of Beijing, argued in front of the president, prime minister, and other government officials on August 8 in favor of allowing the ship to land despite what he claimed were Indian objections.
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