As PM Modi lands in Colombo, Sri Lanka says no to Chinese submarine docking

Colombo has rejected China's request for its submarine to dock at Colombo next week.
PM Modi received by his Sri Lankan counterpart... Source: PTI
India TV News Desk Colombo 12 May 2017, 12:08 AM IST

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his two-day visit to Sri Lanka today, Colombo has rejected China's request for its submarine to dock at its coast next week, a senior defence official said on Thursday. 

A similar visit by two Chinese submarines in 2014 had triggered strong protest from India. 

"They asked for permission for May 14 and 15 to dock in the submarine. We refused," a top defence official said on the condition of anonymity.

The move came as Prime Minister Modi arrived here on Thursday to be the chief guest at Friday's International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists.

The docking of two Chinese submarines at the Colombo harbour in 2014 had angered India, which said it undermined its security interests.

The government sources said that such requests would be turned down in future too.

The Chinese embassy here has so far not responded to the development.

India has raised concerns with Sri Lanka over the growing Chinese influence in the island nation.

During the former regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, China funded Rajapaksa's massive infrastructure development projects with commercial loans for the construction of highways, air and sea ports.

His successor Maithripala Sirisena's plan to handover equity to China as part of the loan settlement have met with resistance.

 

Sri Lanka is currently finalising a plan to lease 80 per cent of its Hambantotata port to China for 99 years.

(With PTI inputs)

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