Rohingya Crisis: Hasina, Xi for quick solution
Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday agreed that there should be a quick solution to the Rohingya crisis so that the displaced people can go back to their homeland soon.
"The two leaders agreed that the Rohingya crisis will have to be solved quickly. It can't be kept unsolved anymore. Two years have elapsed after signing of the agreements. There's no difference in opinion," Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told reporters after a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Speaking at the meeting at Diaoyutai State Guest House, the PM said Bangladesh was hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas, which is a big challenge for the country. It has emerged as environmental and security challenges and trafficking problem in particular.
"We expect goodwill of the Chinese government and the president so that the displaced Rohingyas can go back," Hasina said.
In response, the Chinese leader said his country had previously worked with Myanmar and Bangladesh in this regard and it would continue to do so.
Xi Jinping said their goal is also quick return of the Rohingyas to their homeland.
The Rohingya issue was discussed also during the dinner hosted by the Chinese president, said the foreign secretary.
"At the meeting, it was agreed that the representatives of the two countries will work together. They'll also use their goodwill on Myanmar," Shahidul said.
The PM told the Chinese president that the Rohingyas did not want to go back to Myanmar as they were afraid of a recurrence of persecution there.
In response, Xi Jinping said there is a very slim possibility of a recurrence of such incidents as there is international attention on it.
The president said his country would try as much as possible in this regard as both Bangladesh and Myanmar are its close friends. China treats the two friends equally, he added.
Talking about the projects being implemented with Chinese assistance in Bangladesh, Hasina said during the Chinese president's visit to Bangladesh in 2016, 27 agreements and MoUs were signed between the two countries to implement a number of projects.
She put emphasis on expediting project implementation.
The PM requested the Chinese president to ease the terms and condition of loan agreements for timely disbursement of fund to expedite the project implementation.
Xi Jinping said he would take proper measures in this regard.
About trade and investment, the PM said Chinese companies should invest in Bangladesh with a buyback facility to ease the big trade imbalance against Bangladesh.
Hasina said Chinese entrepreneurs can invest in economic zones as her government was setting up 100 economic zones across the country.
The Chinese president said they were aware about it and would make all efforts to reduce the trade imbalance. He said they encourage Chinese investors to invest in Bangladesh.
The Chinese side discussed the trade gap issue very rationally rather than arguing that there were not enough products to be imported from Bangladesh to reduce the trade gap, said the foreign secretary.
The PM sought Chinese assistance for implementing the Delta Plan 2100 and setting up a Climate Adaptation Centre, and implementation of Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration project.
The Chinese leader assured that they would help Bangladesh set up the Climate Adaptation Centre and consider extending Chinese assistance for Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration Project.
Highly appreciating Bangladesh's GDP growth, Xi Jinping said both countries could learn from each other's development.
Both the sides gave importance to the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, saying that the initiative would have to be revived working together with India.
Later, the PM joined a banquet hosted by the Chinese president at the same venue.
CPC TO HELP RESOLVE ROHINGYA CRISIS
The Communist Party of China (CPC) yesterday said it would contact the top Myanmar leaders to amicably solve the Rohingya crisis and start the repatriation as soon as possible.
CPC Minister for International Affairs Song Tao gave the assurance when he met PM Hasina at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing.
"We'll contact Myanmar political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, to solve the Rohingya problem amicably and so that the repatriation of the first batch of the Rohingyas starts as soon as possible," he said.
PM's speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingyas. Most of them fled their homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine State after the military had launched a brutal offensive targeting the ethnic minority in August 2017.