China offers to help Sri Lanka in shipwreck search

In what is seen as an attempt to extend the country’s reach, China has offered help with detecting shipwrecks along Sri Lanka’s coastline. Sri Lanka would have been an important stop along the maritime silk route in ancient times.

China offers S.Lanka help to find Silk Route wrecks
AFP, via MSN News, 18 January 2012

Chinese authorities are seeking permission to explore Sri Lanka’s coastline for possible Chinese ship wrecks from the ancient Silk Route era, an official said Wednesday.

… The unsolicited offer by Science Foundation of China to deploy experts to look for vessels along Sri Lanka’s coast was under consideration, Director General of Archaeology Senarath Disanayake told AFP.

He said, however, that the Chinese had asked to keep half of all antiquities brought up from the ocean bed — a condition Sri Lanka could not agree to.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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