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Chinese vessel in Maldives being used for scientific research -foreign ministry

BEIJING (Reuters) - Research being carried out by a Chinese vessel calling at a port in the Maldives is exclusively for peaceful purposes and enhancing scientific understanding, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday as the research vessel is set to arrive in the island nation.

The Xiang Yang Hong 3 will "make a port call, for rotation of personnel and replenishment", the Maldivian foreign ministry had said in a statement in January.

The presence of the vessel is likely to raise the concern of India, which has previously viewed such vessels close to its shores as problematic.

(Reporting by Joe Cash; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Tom Hogue)