Chinese research vessel Shiyan 6 arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, prompting concerns from India and the United States. The vessel is now beginning a two-day research mission off the Sri Lankan coast, with collaboration from Sri Lankan authorities.
- The research will take place off Sri Lanka’s western coast.
- Collaboration with Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and the University of Ruhuna.
- Nature of research: Marine scientific research.
- Shiyan 6 is a Chinese research vessel added to the fleet in December 2020.
- It’s the first Chinese research vessel focusing on geophysical exploration.
- The vessel is scheduled to operate for about 80 days with 13 research teams pursuing 28 scientific research projects over 12,000 nautical miles.
- India and the US expressed concerns over the vessel’s visit, similar to their previous concerns about Chinese vessel visits.
- The issue was also discussed during talks held by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing.
Recent Naval Visits to Sri Lanka
- In September, India’s ‘INS Delhi’ visited Sri Lanka.
- ‘ROKS Gwanggaeto the Great’ of the Korean Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer AKEBONO recently arrived at Trincomalee harbor on official visits.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- Sri Lankan authorities have mentioned implementing a SOP to clear visits of foreign vessels.
- However, it appears the SOP for vetting foreign warships, aircraft, and Marine Scientific Research (MSR) ships has not yet come into effect.