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    China's 'pearl of string' strategy at play as spy ship docks in Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, say experts

    world | IST

    China's 'pearl of string' strategy at play as spy ship docks in Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, say experts

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    Rakesh Sood mentioned that when the ship entered Hambantota port, nobody was allowed on the port and thus no one had any clue about what’s really in there. He opined that Sri Lanka’s indebtedness could be the reason behind its failure to resist Chinese pressure.

    As a response to China’s docking of a spy ship at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, India could dock its INS Dhruv, which is relatively smaller but more sophisticated, in the South China sea region, said JNU Professor Srikanth Kondapalli. He also told CNBC-TV18 that aircraft such as P8I surveillance planes can keep track of the docked ship.
    Former Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation (ORF), said that this crisis was supposed to unfold irrespective of Nancy Pelosi’s visit. When the US normalised its relations with China by Nixon's visit in 1972, it acknowledged the One China policy but didn't agree with it. Regarding this, he said, “Over a period of time, fudges have an expiry date. China today is different from 1972, this fudge is being exposed.”
    Kondapalli spoke about the earlier deployment of the Huang 1 series in the Senkaku island region. Initially it was termed as a research activity, but later it reported several violations in the region. According to him, the purpose of deploying the Yuan Wang-5 is to scan the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to offer a boost to the ‘string of pearls’ policy.
    In the last two years, China has sent nearly 53 surveillance ships and has also launched satellites in Nicaragua. These developments have enhanced Chinese racing ability.
    Sood mentioned that when the ship entered the Hambantota port, nobody was allowed on the port and thus no one had any clue about what’s really in there. He opined that Sri Lanka’s indebtedness could be the reason behind its failure to resist Chinese pressure.
    He doesn’t think that this move has any link to Taiwan and probably was planned earlier. With the port, the land around it was also leased to China for 99 years. He said that over half-a-dozen such vessels provided an integrated environment for warfare capabilities to the country. Although speculative at this time what espionage the deployed ship is capable of, the 750km line from Hambantota will cover most of South India, Sood said.
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