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Maldives visit of Chinese survey ship could trigger security concerns

22/2/2024 13:04
        A Chinese research ship is set to arrive in the Maldives on Thursday, global ship-tracking data showed, just three months after a similar vessel visited the Indian Ocean and sparked New Delhi's security concerns.
        
        The visit follows January comments by a U.S. think tank that China's navy could "leverage the insights gained from these missions" for deployment of naval forces, a claim Beijing calls part of a concocted image-smearing "China threat" narrative.
        
        Xiang Yang Hong 03, owned by a research institute that reports to China's natural resources ministry, is due to make a port call at Male, data from MarineTraffic showed, more than a month after leaving its southeastern home port of Xiamen.
        
        The civilian ship spent more than three weeks surveying waters just outside the exclusive economic zones of India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, the ship-tracking data showed.
        
        China's foreign ministry has said research by the vessel was "exclusively" for peaceful purposes to benefit scientific understanding.
        



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