SNAPSHOTS

For Sri Lanka, India's Anger Over a Chinese Ship Visit Highlights a Foreign Policy Dilemma

MIN READAug 29, 2022 | 20:21 GMT

China's ambassador to Sri Lanka (left) gestures upon the arrival of China's research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, at the Hambantota port on Aug. 16, 2022.

China's ambassador to Sri Lanka (left) gestures upon the arrival of China's research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, at the Hambantota port on Aug. 16, 2022.

(ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

A recent diplomatic spat between Sri Lanka and India over a Chinese ship highlights the extent to which Colombo's foreign policy -- which is focused on securing strong ties with (and financial aid from) both Beijing and New Delhi -- could become increasingly harder to sustain. A Chinese military research ship left the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota on Aug. 22 after docking there for a week. The ship's presence in the Sri Lankan port had led to a small diplomatic row between Sri Lanka and India, as New Delhi protested the arrival of a Chinese vessel with the ability to potentially survey India's underwater and maritime installations in the area. According to media reports, the Sri Lankan government considered not granting permission to the vessel under Indian pressure, which highlights Colombo's delicate balancing act between New Delhi and Beijing. The ship strolled into Indian Ocean waters before being permitted...

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