Colombo (LNW): The Chinese research vessel ‘Shi Yan 6’ has made its way to the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka for resupplying purposes, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
The vessel has been permitted to stay at the Colombo Harbor for replenishment until 28th October.
While there were initial expectations for the vessel to engage in research collaborations with Sri Lankan agencies, the spokesperson clarified that only resupplying would take place, with no research activities to be conducted during this time.
The Shi Yan 6, as described by the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, is a “scientific research vessel” that houses a crew of 60, and it primarily conducts tests in oceanography, marine geology, and marine ecology.
Indian media outlets have suggested that the vessel’s presence in Colombo might intensify India’s apprehensions about China’s expanding influence in the Indian Ocean.
It should also be noted that last year, India expressed concerns when another Chinese research ship, Yuan Wang 5, made a port call in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.
New Delhi classified this vessel as one focusing on spacecraft tracking and potentially involved in espionage activities.