The Chinese research vessel, known as the ‘Shi Yan 6,’ is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today (25), before the scheduled date.
The ship is originally scheduled to dock at Colombo Harbour, though earlier this month. However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry initially granted permission for the Shi Yan 6 to make its port call in November, despite China’s initial request for a call in October.
India’s concerns regarding this vessel can be traced back to the arrival of the high-tech research ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ in Colombo in August 2022. India has raised concerns about the Shi Yan 6’s capabilities in mapping the ocean floor, which holds strategic importance for anti-submarine operations conducted by the Chinese navy.
In September 2023, Minister Sabry informed Indian media that permission for the Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 to make a port call in October was still under negotiation. He emphasized that Sri Lanka regarded India’s security concerns as legitimate and important.