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China, India Spar Over Controversial Ship’s Call in Sri Lanka

  • India says Beijing gave embattled country extra problems
  • China claims island nation had sovereign right to accept ship
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, left, next to the research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota port on Aug. 16.

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, left, next to the research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota port on Aug. 16.

Photographer: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images

India and China traded insults over their diverging interests in Sri Lanka, after a controversial Chinese scientific research ship called at the island nation despite New Delhi’s security concerns.

Sri Lanka “needs support, not unwanted pressure or unnecessary controversies to serve another country’s agenda,” the Indian embassy in Colombo said on Twitter late Saturday, referencing the ongoing political and economic turmoil the nation is already battling after defaulting on its debt for the first time.