India is closely monitoring the movement of a Chinese “spy ship” that is on its way to Sri Lanka and will dock at its Hambantota port around August 11.
- The vessel’s visit to the Lankan port comes at a time when the country is battling a severe economic crisis, and India is learnt to have already lodged a verbal protest against the ship’s visit.
- The ‘Yuan Wang 5’, a Chinese research and survey vessel, is en route to Hambantota, a strategically important deep-sea port developed mostly using loans from Beijing.
- ‘Yuan Wang’-class ships are used to track satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches.
- China has around seven of these tracking ships that are capable of operating throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The ships supplement Beijing’s land-based tracking stations.