A day after controversial Chinese 'spy' ship docked in Sri Lanka, Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Wednesday, 17 August, said that India is monitoring the security developments in its neighbourhood very carefully.
"What happens in our neighbourhood, any development, which has a bearing on our security issues, is of interest to us," Jaishankar said in response to a question regarding the Chinese 'research and survey' vessel at a press conference.
"I think a spokesman had said some time ago, we obviously monitor any development which has a bearing on our interests very, very carefully. So, I think I will leave at that," the minister, who was in Thailand to attend the ninth India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting, added.
Yuan Wang 5, a controversial Chinese ‘research and survey’ vessel, had reached the southern port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka on the morning of Tuesday. The Chinese vessel will be docked at the southern Sri Lankan port till 22 August for replenishment, Sri Lankan officials said.
The ship was originally due to dock at Sri Lanka's Chinese-run Hambantota port on 11 August. However, after India flagged its concerns, Sri Lanka's defence ministry requested the Chinese embassy in Colombo to delay the ship's arrival.
India had raised concerns about China using the ship's location in Sri Lanka to spy on the former's military installations.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that the activities of Yuan Wang 5 "do not affect the security and economic interests of any country and should not be obstructed by any third party."
Before the ship's arrival, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said, “The government carefully monitors any development having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them.”