Amid concerns over a visit by Chinese ship Yuan Wang 5 to his country, Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said here on Saturday that he hoped it would not cause a major diplomatic row as India understood the situation.
In Ahmedabad to promote tourism in the island nation, Mr. Fernando said China had made a lot of investment in Sri Lanka and had been “understanding its requirements in the past”. Indian authorities have expressed worries about the ship’s snooping capability.
“I am sure India understands that. We have a very good diplomatic relationship with India,” the Minister said, replying to a question.
Indian authorities consider the vessel to be a “dual-use spy ship”.
Mr. Fernando said Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe and its Foreign Minister were in constant touch with Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I think they understand our situation,” he said. “There is a lot of investment by the Chinese in Sri Lanka and they have also been quite understanding of our requirements in the past. So I am quite hopeful this is not a major diplomatic issue,” he further said.