New Delhi: India has taken seriously the reports that Sri Lanka has permitted another Chinese attack submarine to dock at a Lankan port.
According to some media reports, the second docking may soon take place.
The presence of Chinese submarines across Palk Straits has troubled the Indian government which is making another call to Lankan authorities but this time they want to convey strong displeasure. This news came as a shock for the government right after the Chinese submarine docking in Sri Lanka was brought days after the visit of Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung to India. It was in complete disregard to India’s message to Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier this month.
The Chinese task force of submarines, both diesel and nuclear-powered (of which three can fire ballistic missiles), represent some of the Beijing’s most atrocious military capabilities. Chinese nuclear submarines have been the focus of international media since one of them propelled through Indian Ocean waters for the first time earlier this year, making its way to the Persian Gulf.
In a recent report, Wall Street Journal described the Chinese submarine fleet (taskforce) as Beijing’s most significant military challenge in the region. And for them to surface at Lankan ports brings alive some of New Delhi’s worst fears of China’s expanding presence in India’s neighborhood.
With the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as president in 2005, assistance from China to Sri Lanka has grown manifold, especially in infrastructure.