Reports say that despite Indian concerns Sri Lanka will allow the Chinese 'research' ship Yuan Wang 5 to berth at Hambantota port.
India doesn't like the ship operating around Indian waters. The ship can potentially snoop on sensitive Indian installations and space assets.
Yuvan Wang 5 is said to be a 'dual use' ship capable of maritime monitoring missions and transoceanic aerospace observations.
Six of India's naval installations and India's only spaceport are in the region.
Two nuclear installations - Kalapakkam and Kudankulam are also on the south-eastern seaboard.
India and the US have reportedly tried to get Sri Lanka to disallow the Chinese vessel but to no avail.
Sri Lanka's Hambantota port has also been a concern for India. The port was funded through Chinese loans to the tune of US$1.3 billion - some of it at concessionary rates and some at commercial interest rates.
Some loan agreements stipulated that specific Chinese companies would be the construction contractors for the port.
The port began operations in 2011. By 2016 it had accumulated losses of over US$300 million.
Sri Lanka subsequently leased a significant stake of the port to Chinese company for US$1.12 billion - the lease period was 99 years.
This money was not used to repay the Sri Lankan loans taken for the construction of the port.
Instead the money was used to pay off other short term loans and to strengthen Sri Lankan Rupees vis a vis the US Dollar.
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