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Dhaka to share concerns about Rohingya issue with Beijing

  • Published at 10:35 pm June 23rd, 2019
Rohingya Refugees
Rohingyas crossing over to Bangladesh after Rohingya insurgent attacks on Myanmar security forces in August 2017 triggered a sweeping military crackdown Mahmud Hossain Opu /Dhaka Tribune

Prolonged stay of Rohingyas might cause radicalism, uncertainty

Bangladesh will convey to China during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit scheduled for July 1-5, its fear of "radicalism and uncertainty" on the security front in the region, due to the prolonged stay of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

"If the problem [Rohingya crisis] remains unresolved for a long time, there's a possibility of growing some pockets of radicalism. If terrorist acts grow, there'll be uncertainty in the entire region," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday.

The Foreign Minister said China might face problems in achieving its desired goals if uncertainty prevails in the region.

Dr Momen said the Rohingya issue will be there on the priority list during the Prime Minister's visit to China, while the investment issue will also come up as a relevant one.

"China is investing a lot in Myanmar. China has also invested in Bangladesh. The investment will bring no benefit if there's no peace and discipline. We'll also convey this to China," said Dr Momen, talking to a small group of reporters at his office.

The Foreign Minister said the government of Bangladesh has so far kept Rohingyas under control.

He said peace needs to be ensured in the region for the betterment of Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar.

Dr Momen said China is with Bangladesh on the matter of the repatriation of Rohingyas, from Bangladesh to their place of origin in Rakhine State.

Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas, who have mostly entered the country since August 25, 2017.

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh had planned to send back the Rohingyas within two years as per the agreement signed with Myanmar.

Bangladesh wants China to push Myanmar

He said, during Prime Minister Hasina's upcoming China visit, they will seek to ask China to push Myanmar to resume the repatriation process.

Bangladesh and China plan to bolster their "strategic partnership" taking it to a new level with this crucial visit of Hasina's, "bringing big" hopes for expediting the country's ongoing development.

Bangladesh formally joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Bangladesh in October, 2016. Under the BRI framework, China wants to share its development experience with other countries and improve connectivity between Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The Chinese government's invitation to the Prime Minister is also meant for her to attend the annual meeting of the "New Champions,"  known as the "Summer Davos" to be held in Dalian, China, July 1-3, an official told UNB.

Prime Minister’s first visit

This is going to be the first bilateral visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Beijing since her party's absolute majority in the last parliamentary elections.

The Prime Minister will have important meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang during her visit, and will discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in broader areas.

A good number of bilateral documents are likely to be signed during the visit ranging from economic to, culture, power and ICT agreements.

Prime Minister Hasina is expected to have an "exclusive meeting" on July 2 with the founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum (WEF), Prof Klaus Schwab, in Dalian, China, said an official.

She is also expected to be a panelist at a session on Cooperation in the Pacific Rim at the WEF, Dalian.