Chinese ‘research’ ship arrives in Maldives, sparks security concerns

Amid growing tensions between India and Maldives, a Chinese ‘research’ ship reportedly entered the waters of the island nation on Thursday (Feb 22), news agency Reuters reported citing global ship-tracking data.

This comes just three months after a similar vessel visited the Indian Ocean and sparked security concerns among the Indian authorities.

The visit by the ship also comes following the remarks by a US think tank that China’s navy could “leverage the insights gained from these missions” for the deployment of naval forces, a claim Beijing calls part of a concocted image-smearing “China threat” narrative.

Xiang Yang Hong 03, which is owned by a research institute that reports to China’s natural resources ministry, made a port call in Male more than a month after leaving its home port of Xiamen in southeastern China, added the Reuters report citing data from MarineTraffic.

Before its arrival, the civilian ship, for three weeks, had surveyed waters outside the exclusive economic zones of India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, the ship-tracking data showed.




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