Myanmar border tension: Beijing to talk to Naypyidaw
Beijing will ask Myanmar to stop violating Bangladesh's territorial sovereignty and speed up the tripartite mechanism for Rohingya repatriation.
Li Jiming, Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, said this during a meeting with Admiral (Retd) Khurshed Alam, acting foreign secretary, at the foreign ministry yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Jiming said the recent incidents along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border are unfortunate.
He said the meeting discussed the border incidents, ways for early Rohingya repatriations, and bilateral cooperation in other areas.
On September 20, the foreign ministry arranged separate briefings with the Asean diplomats and the other foreign diplomats in Dhaka to discuss the border situation and requested them to use their influence to stop Myanmar from repeatedly violating border rules.
Since late August, mortar shells landed in Bangladesh territory from Myanmar and helicopters flew over the border area, where the Myanmar military and Arakan Army have been fighting since the beginning of the month.
No representative from the Chinese embassy in Dhaka was present at the September 20 meeting.
"We had informed the border situation to the foreign diplomats last week. As no one from the Chinese embassy was present there, we informed the ambassador about it today [yesterday]," Khurshed Alam told reporters at the foreign ministry.
He said he sought China's renewed initiative to speed up the tripartite mechanism -- involving Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, -- for early repatriation of the Rohingyas. Of the over a million Rohingya refugees, not a single one could be repatriated since the biggest influx in 2017.
He said Li Jiming assured him that China would raise the issue of border rules violation with Naypyidaw.
China has constructed a good number of houses in Rakhine State to shelter the Rohingyas upon their return.
About the possibility of repatriation amidst ongoing conflicts in Myanmar, including in Rakhine State, he said, "There is no war going on in the place the Rohingyas will be taken."
"China is our friend and has leverage in Myanmar. It assured us of communicating our message to the authorities concerned there."