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India monitoring China's 'spy ship,' docked in Sri Lanka: S Jaishankar

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Thailand, Aug 17: India is closely monitoring development concerning a Chinese navy ship docked in Sri Lanka, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday.

"What happens in our neighborhood, any developments which have a bearing in our security obviously are of an interest to us," said Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Indian foreign minister during a news conference hosted by the foreign ministers of Thailand and India in Bangkok.

S Jaishankar

Sri Lanka gave into immense pressure from China and allowed a surveillance vessel to dock at the Hambantota port. India has expressed concern over the development as it worries about the presence of more naval presence in the regional waters by the Chinese.

Under pressure Sri Lanka reversed a decision to defer the visit to Hambantota by the Yuan Wang 5 which docked at the southern port on Tuesday morning.

India and the United States both conveyed concerns to Sri Lanka about the docking of the vessel used by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to track satellites and ballistic missiles.

India had conveyed its concerns to Sri Lanka long before the vessel had entered regional waters. The report also said that more than the military or strategic capabilities of the vessel it is the overall comfort level of the Chinese navy in operating in these waters.

India has also expressed concern that the vessel did not go to Colombo, but to Hambantota which is under the control of the Chinese. This makes it clear that it is not about the replenishment of the Yuang Wang 5.

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    The Indian side has in the past too flagged such visits by the Chinese military vessels such as calls by conventional submarine to the Colombo port in September and October 2014. India will continue to flag its concerns in view of the Chinese navy's growing efforts to establish a presence in the regional waters.

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