New Delhi: China, on Monday, took a dig at India after Sri Lanka requested the former to defer the docking of a Chinese research vessel at the Hambantota Port. Sri Lanka had asked China to defer the docking of the vessel as India expressed worry that the Chinese-built and leased port of Hambantota will be used by China as a military base according to a Reuters report. The Chinese vessel ‘Yuan Wang 5’ was supposed to dock from August 11 to 17.
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For the unversed, the $1.5 billion port is near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, in press briefing, said that “the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is independently chosen by the two countries and meets common interests. It does not target any third party”.
He also said that it was “senseless to pressure Sri Lanka” in reference to security concerns. “Sri Lanka is a sovereign state. It can develop relations with other countries in the light of its own development interests,” he further stated.
Speaking indirectly to India, Wenbin concluded by saying, “China urges relevant parties to see China’s scientific explorations in a reasonable and sensible way and stop disturbing the normal exchange between China and Sri Lanka.”