December 9, 2022

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Bangladesh asks China for assist in repatriating Rohingya refugees

DHAKA – Bangladesh on Sunday sought cooperation with China to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Myanmar throughout a go to by International Minister Wang Yi, who pledged higher commerce ties, funding and assist for infrastructure improvement within the South Asian nation.

China had used its affect in Myanmar to dealer an settlement in November 2017 to repatriate some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar in August of the identical yr. Regardless of makes an attempt to ship them again, the refugees refused, fearing a menace in Myanmar exacerbated by final yr’s navy takeover.

Wang arrived in Dhaka on Saturday and met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and International Minister AK Abdul Momen. They mentioned bilateral and international points earlier than his departure on Sunday, mentioned Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s deputy international minister.

Bangladesh has robust ties with China, which is a vital buying and selling companion particularly for commodities. Nevertheless, sustaining shut ties with Beijing is a problem for Bangladesh, which can also be balancing diplomatic and commerce ties with each India and the USA, China’s principal competitor.


Greater than 500 Chinese language corporations are lively in Bangladesh. China is concerned in the entire nation’s main infrastructure tasks corresponding to seaports, a river tunnel and highways, and helped construct its largest bridge throughout the Padma River at a value of $3.6 billion.

Amid latest tensions between China and Taiwan, Bangladesh issued an announcement reaffirming its assist for the “One China” coverage. After successful elections in 2008, Hasina’s authorities, at China’s request, closed the Taiwanese enterprise mission in Dhaka, and China has since elevated its involvement in Bangladesh.

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Bangladesh’s garment business, which brings in additional than 80% of international trade from exports, is closely depending on China for uncooked supplies.

On Sunday, throughout a courtesy name, Wang Hasina mentioned his nation regards Bangladesh as a “strategic improvement companion” and can proceed to assist it, mentioned Ihsanul Karim, the president’s press secretary.


The United Information of Bangladesh company reported that Wang had additionally pledged to face by Bangladesh “on any concern at worldwide boards.”

The state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha information company reported that Hasina addressed the worldwide tensions brought on by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions in opposition to Moscow, saying: “Folks (world wide) are going by troublesome instances… South Asia, Southeast Asia and China can work collectively for financial progress.”

Alam mentioned Wang has agreed to increase commerce advantages by rising duty-free entry to Chinese language markets from the present 97% of Bangladesh’s services and products to 98%.

“That is excellent news for Bangladesh as we have now a thriving economic system primarily based on exports,” Alam mentioned. “Now they’ve supplied one other 1% from September 1,” he mentioned, including that the brand new tax profit is more likely to embody clothes, wovens and different merchandise that beforehand confronted some obstacles.


He mentioned Bangladesh will quickly obtain an inventory of services and products from China that may be granted duty-free entry.

Alam mentioned Wang informed Bangladesh’s international minister that “some nations misunderstand and misread China.” He didn’t elaborate.

However Momen individually informed reporters that the Chinese language minister talked about that some Taiwanese are being provoked in opposition to China’s sovereignty. Beijing regards self-governing Taiwan as its personal territory.

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The junior minister mentioned China had promised to work constantly to resolve the Rohingya disaster, quoting Wang as saying Myanmar’s inner challenges apprehensive different nations.

“Our international minister has strongly reiterated that Chinese language cooperation is required. China has made progress in fixing the Rohingya downside and we should finish the scenario,” Alam mentioned.

On Sunday, Bangladesh and China signed or renewed 4 memoranda of understanding and memoranda of understanding on catastrophe administration, infrastructure and cultural exchanges.


Analyst Munshi Faiz Ahmad, who served as Bangladesh’s ambassador to Beijing, mentioned Wang’s go to was important for each nations.

“Bangladesh wants China’s assist to resolve the Rohingya disaster. This go to will assist strengthen bilateral ties,” Ahmad informed The Related Press.

“China is essential to us. We additionally must have good relations with each India and the USA, as they’re additionally crucial improvement companions of Bangladesh. Due to Bangladesh’s shut ties with China, there may be nothing to fret about,” he mentioned.

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