This week, a Chinese surveillance ship capable of monitoring rocket and spacecraft launches was berthed at the eastern port of Durban, only a couple of months after South Africa drew criticism from Western nations for conducting naval exercises with China and Russia.
The arrival of Yuan Wang 5, which is currently en route westward according to Bloomberg’s data, has caused concern among China’s geopolitical adversaries in the past. In August, India raised objections when Sri Lanka permitted the ship to dock at its Hambantota port.
Despite the fact that the majority of South Africa’s overall trade is with Western countries, the docking of the vessel may intensify apprehensions that South Africa is growing closer to China and Russia.
China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, but its economic ties with Russia are insignificant, Yahoo News reported via Bloomberg.
The South African presidency stated that they do not monitor the docking of ships on a daily basis and directed inquiries to the defense department and state port operator.
At the moment, neither have responded to queries. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation redirected the inquiries to the Department of Transport, which has not responded yet. Several attempts to contact the Chinese Embassy in South Africa went unanswered.
Written by staff