Chinese research ship Yuan Wang 5 docks at Sri Lanka's Hambantota port

(CNN)A Chinese research ship docked at a southern Sri Lankan port Beijing leases from the government on Tuesday, officials said, despite security concerns raised by India about the vessel's presence in nearby waters.

Port workers at Hambantota gave an enthusiastic welcome to the Yuan Wang 5, waving Sri Lanka and China flags, while the ship displayed a large banner reading: "Hello Sri Lanka."

However, the ship's arrival appears to have aggravated tensions between New Delhi and Beijing, who have both spent billions of dollars on development and deals with Sri Lanka, an island of 22 million people that sits on a key trading route.

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The Yuan Wang 5 had originally requested permission to dock at the port last week, but the visit was delayed after concerns were raised about the ship's presence, though India denied putting any pressure on Colombo.

China says the ship is used for scientific research, but the US Defense Department says the ship is under the command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and is capable of tracking satellites and missile launches.

On Saturday, Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry said the government had engaged in "extensive" consultations with "all parties concerned" with a "view to resolving the matter in a spirit of friendship, mutual trust and constructive dialogue."

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