Dhaka-Beijing Foreign Secretary-level meeting

Dhaka-Beijing Foreign Secretary-level meeting

Dhaka-Beijing Foreign Secretary-level meeting

Secretary of State Masud bin Momen and Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong have placed special emphasis on enhancing regional connectivity in South and Southeast Asia. 

On Saturday (May 27), they underscored this importance during the Bangladesh-China Foreign Ministry Consultation held at the National Guest House Padma in Dhaka. During the consultation, they represented their respective countries interests.

Vice Minister Sun Weidong said that he is visiting Bangladesh after ten years and is very impressed by the incredible development achievements of Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

Both delegations discussed various issues of mutual interest and cooperation in multilateral forums. China reiterates its gratitude to Bangladesh for its continued support for the One China Policy.

Both parties discussed the progress of various infrastructure projects in Bangladesh and welcomed the upcoming inauguration of mega projects such as the Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River and the Padma Bridge rail connection. Both parties have agreed to expedite several additional projects related to the power and communication sectors.

Both parties have also discussed ways to increase exports to China using the Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) facility, which has been effective since September 1, 2022, and agreed to streamline the necessary criteria for importing tropical fruits such as mangoes, jackfruits, pears, and frozen food from Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh delegation has requested the inclusion of agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, raw leather, usable goods, and non-knit garments, among other export items, within the coverage of DFQF to reduce the trade imbalance with China.

Sun Weidong assured that Chinese investors are encouraged to invest in their country's special economic zones in Chattogram. He also expressed willingness to discuss the resumption of direct flights between Dhaka and Guangzhou with the relevant authorities of China Southern Airlines. Both parties agreed to initiate regular consular consultations to address visa issues, particularly for Bangladeshi students.

There is also an interest in collaborating with China in the field of digital technology and biotechnology innovation in Bangladesh. Both parties expressed interest in contributing to the Belt and Road Initiative's promotion of regional connectivity in South and Southeast Asia.

China has proposed assistance in tackling challenges like online gambling and drug trafficking to enhance capacity building. Both sides agreed in principle on addressing issues of public security. Bangladesh expressed gratitude to China for the exchange of weather satellite information during natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.

In this meeting, both sides also discussed the Rohingya crisis and other regional and multilateral issues. China expressed its commitment to facilitate the rapid, safe, voluntary, and dignified repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Rakhine State. Sun Weidong mentioned that the prompt repatriation of Rohingyas would be beneficial for Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the entire region. In order to facilitate the repatriation process of the first batch of the pilot project, China praised Bangladesh and Myanmar's representatives for their visit to Myanmar ('Go and See') and Bangladesh ('Come and Talk').

The Foreign Secretary, Masud Bin Momen, expressed gratitude to China for its cooperation and emphasized Bangladesh's ongoing efforts in collaboration with friendly countries, regional, and international organizations regarding the safe and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas.

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