Online Desk: China and Bangladesh on Saturday reviewed the progress of different infrastructure projects being implemented in Bangladesh with Chinese support and welcomed the upcoming inauguration of mega projects like the Bangabandhu Tunnel under the river Karnaphuli in Chattagram and the Padma Bridge rail link.
Both sides showed interest in contributing to the regional connectivity in South and South East Asia under the auspices of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, said foreign officials. They also said that the two sides agreed in principle to have dedicated dialogue on public security issues.
While discussing these issues at the 12th Foreign Office Consultations at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka, the Chinese side reiterated its appreciation to Bangladesh for its continued support to ‘One China Policy’, said a foreign ministry press release.
The Chinese delegation was led by Sun Weidong, vice-minister of that country’s foreign affairs ministry while the Bangladesh team was led by foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen.
Vice-minister Sun Weidong mentioned that he was visiting Bangladesh after 10 years and was very much impressed to see Bangladesh’s tremendous development achievements carried out by the government of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, according the release.
Both delegations discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interests and cooperation in multilateral forums.
They also discussed other multilateral and regional issues, including the Rohingya crisis.
‘The Chinese side reiterated to facilitate the early, safe, sustainable and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas to Rakhine State from Bangladesh,’ said the release.The vice-minister mentioned that an early repatriation would be beneficial for Bangladesh, Myanmar and the whole region.
The two sides recalled the recent high-level political exchanges and meetings
that have further deepened the strategic partnership of cooperation. Bangladesh once again thanked China for its support for vaccines to manage the Covid pandemic, the release mentioned.
‘The two sides reviewed the progress of different quality infrastructure projects in Bangladesh and welcomed the upcoming inauguration of mega projects like the Bangabandhu Tunnel under the river Karnaphuli and the Padma Bridge Rail-link,’ it said.
Both sides agreed to further streamline the outstanding issues concerning a few additional project proposals in the power and communication sectors.
The two sides also discussed ways to enhance Bangladeshi exports to China by using the duty and quota free (DFQF) access to 98 per cent of the products that came into effect on September 1, 2022.
The Chinese side expressed particular interest in importing tropical fruits like mango, jackfruit, guava and frozen foods from Bangladesh in compliance with necessary quality specifications while the Bangladesh side requested the inclusion of other export items like vegetables, pharmaceuticals, raw hides, foot wares and non-knit apparels, among others, in the DFQF coverage to minimise the existing trade imbalance with China, said the foreign ministry release.
The Chinese vice-minister assured of encouraging Chinese firms to invest at the Chinese Special Economic Zone in Chattogram.
They also advised timely notification of interest with the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority to resume the Dhaka–Guanzhu direct flight by Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
The two sides agreed to launch regular consular consultations with a view to addressing visa-related issues, especially for Bangladeshi students.
Bangladesh expressed its interest in working together with China on innovation in digital technologies and biotechnologies.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the existing defense cooperation and discussed possibilities of regular staff-level talks and specialised training programmes, said foreign ministry officials.
China offered support to capacity building in Bangladesh for addressing emerging challenges like online gambling and drug trafficking.
Bangladesh thanked China for sharing meteorological satellite information during natural calamities like cyclone and flood. Source: New Age