'China mediating between Bangladesh, Myanmar'
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen today said China, as a responsible major country, has been "unswervingly mediating" between Bangladesh and Myanmar to promote the repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland.
"A local friend once told me sincerely that many people provide lip-services, but only China is actually doing practical things to proceed with the repatriation," he said.
The ambassador was delivering keynote speech at a symposium as part of the Cosmos Dialogue Ambassadors' Lecture Series titled "Bangladesh-China Relations: Prognosis for the Future" at hotel in Dhaka.
The discussion was chaired and conducted by President, Cosmos Foundation and former foreign affairs advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.
Chairman of Cosmos Foundation Enayetullah Khan delivered the welcome remarks.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char.
A 27-member delegation including 20 Rohingyas visited Myanmar's Rakhine on Friday to see the preparation to resettle the possible returnees. They visited 15 villages and other infrastructure built for the Rohingyas.
Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, also the leader of the delegation said, "We returned with 20 Rohingyas after visiting the arrangements made for them around Maungdaw town. I have seen the goodwill of the Myanmar government regarding repatriation. We want to start repatriation."
Ambassador Yao said Bangladesh and China have always firmly supported each other on issues of core interests.
"We both pursue an independent diplomacy for peace. We support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national dignity," he said.
The Chinese envoy said they coordinate and cooperate in regional and international affairs, and jointly oppose external interference.
"We have never accused each other on issues such as democracy and human rights. China appreciates Bangladesh's long-term and firm support for the one-China principle," he said.
Vice Dean for Research, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore Professor Kanti Bajpai, Senior Fellow and Secretary General of China and South Asia, Center Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), China Liu Zongyi, Professor, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, China Lin Minwang, Assistant Research Fellow, Institute for International Strategic and Security Studies, SIIS, China LI Hongmei, former Bangladesh High Commissioner to India and the United States Tariq A Karim took part as discussants at the dialogue.