The Bangladesh prime minister flies to China on Monday on a five-day trip to participate at a WEF event, as well as to sign agreements, MoUs between Dhaka and Beijing
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will discuss the ongoing Rohingya crisis with top leaders of China, and seek their “active and meaningful” cooperation to resolve the issue, during her three-day visit to Beijing from July 3 to 6.
Prior to her visit to the Chinese capital, the prime minister will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions in the city of Dalian, from Monday to Wednesday, July 1-3.
A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the premier, and her entourage is scheduled to take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka for Dalian at 5pm on Monday.
At the WEF event, Hasina will attend a panel discussion on Tuesday, titled “Cooperation in the Pacific Rim.” She will also meet the WEF founder, and executive chairman on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony.
During her bilateral visit, which will start on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will have separate meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled on Friday, July 5, and Prime Minister Li Keqiang the day before, on July 4.
“Our prime minister will have separate bilateral meetings with the Chinese president and premier, and will have the opportunity to discuss the crucial Rohingya crisis with both of them,” a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Dhaka Tribune.
“In both the meetings, she will have the opportunity to raise the issue with importance, and she will do so,” he added. “Be it bilaterally or multilaterally, Bangladesh wants the Rohingyas to go back to their home safely, with dignity, and rights, including their citizenship.”
Another official said: “The prime minister will highlight the negative impacts the Rohingya issue is having, and might have not only on Bangladesh, but also the entire [southeast Asian] region, including China.
“She is all but certain to seek active, and meaningful cooperation from China to resolve the crisis – given the Chinese influence on the Myanmar government,” he added.
It is globally perceived that, because of the unequivocal Chinese support, Myanmar is still getting away with the horrendous crimes it committed against the Rohingyas, forcing hundreds of thousands of them to cross over to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, leaving their home in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
It is also believed that if China puts pressure on Myanmar, there will be groundbreaking changes with regards to the repatriation of Rohingyas.
Apart from the Rohingya crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues in light of the strategic relationship between Dhaka and Beijing.
In addition to different ceremonies and banquets by President Jinping, and Prime Minister Keqiang, Dhaka and Beijing will sign eight bilateral instruments during Hasina’s official visit.
The five agreements and three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are: framework agreement on “Expansion and Strengthening of Power System Network under the Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) Area” project; government concessional loan agreement for the same project; preferential buyer’s credit loan agreement for the same project; framework agreement on “Power Grid Network Strengthening Project under Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB); agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the Bangladeshi and the Chinese governments; MoU on the establishment of investment cooperation working group; MoU and its implementation plan on sharing hydrological information of Yalu Zhangbo/Brahmaputra River; and MoU on cultural exchange and tourism programs.