China to eye geopolitics during Dhaka visit

Dhaka, Aug 6:
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to reach here on Saturday on a two-day trip to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues with the Bangladesh leadership.
On the second day of the visit, he will meet his Bangladeshi counterpart A K Abdul Momen. Aside from bilateral issues, China will eye on geopolitics and strategic assistance, said diplomatic sources. Bangladesh side will focus augmenting business, speedy implementation of different development projects and the Rohingya repatriation.

Foreign Ministry officials told this correspondent that after the Chinese Minister meets Momen on Sunday morning, at least five instruments and MoUs could be signed.

Later, Yi will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Diplomatic sources said Bangladesh will put emphasis on boosting investment and duty free access for more Bangladeshi products in the Chinese market.

Around 98 per cent of Bangladeshi products have been getting duty free access to the Chinese market. Now it will seek duty free access for 100 per cent products.

Currently, Bangladesh exports products worth $700 million to China and imports products worth over $1.3 billion.

China has invested $1.4 billion in Bangladesh. Dhaka has given China a special economic zone in Anwara, Chattogram. Bangladesh will seek more Chinese investment in other economic zones too.

A total of 27 projects were finalised for implementation during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dhaka in 2016.

China was supposed to invest $24 billion in those projects. The decision will be reviewed this time.

Bangladesh will raise the Rohingya repatriation issue.

Speaking to the media, Bangladesh state Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said: ?Rohingya issue is the most prioritised issue from our side. The issue will be discussed with due importance.?

Bangladesh wants China to put pressure on Myanmar to create a conducive environment in its Rakhine state for Rohingya repatriation.

The visit by the Chinese Minister comes amid US-China tensions over Beijing’s strident opposition to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Diplomatic sources said the Chinese Foreign Minister could raise issues like Global Security Initiative (GSI) and Global Development Initiative (GDI) that Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced.

But Momen said: ?Now we are busy with overcoming Covid-19 and facing the Russia-Ukraine crisis. As a result, even if the issues like GSI and GDI are raised, we do not have much interest in getting involved in all the hostility that is going on among the different superpowers. (UNI)