Ties between people of China and Bangladesh to deepen further

China's ambassador in Bangladesh Yao WenFile photo

Stressing on the importance of education, culture and ties between the people of the two countries, China's ambassador in Bangladesh Yao Wen said, "Ties between the people of China and Bangladesh will deepen further in the future. We must take extra initiative for this."

Yao Wen expressed this aspiration concerning relations between the two countries while visiting the Prothom Alo office yesterday, Thursday.

He was received by Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman upon his arrival. He exchanged views with the editor. Later he discussed various issues of bilateral cooperation with Prothom Alo's diplomatic correspondent.

When asked about relations between Bangladesh and China, Yao Wen said, "I see that relations between the people of the two countries will deepen further. During the construction of Padma Bridge, some women and girls in the surrounding area were given training. Later they were provided with employment".

Yao Wen arrived in Dhaka in December last year as the 16th ambassador of China to Bangladesh.

He said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, communication had been stalled for three years and this had held up many areas of cooperation. With the end of the pandemic, communication had resumed and cultural exchanges had started. The stalled exchange trips by media persons would also resume, Wen added.

Ever since it had construed taking up a conflict with China, the US has been pressuring Bangladesh to take its side
Yao Wen, Ambassador of China to Bangladesh

Lauding the role of Bangladesh's media, Yao Wen said, "I have heard high praise about Bangladesh's top media house Prothom Alo from my colleagues."

He expressed his satisfaction about China's involvement in historical and mega projects in Bangladesh like the Padma Bridge, saying that this historic bridge was constructed with Bangladesh's own funding. This was implemented with Chinese technology and contractors.

Yao Wen also said the Karnaphuli tunnel is being constructed in Chattogram with funds released by China. Around 80 to 85 per cent of the project's funding is from China. Bangladesh will provide the remaining 10 to 15 per cent. The 10th and 11th China-Bangladesh bridges are being constructed with Chinese grant.

Geopolitical competition has increased between the US and China over the Indo-Pacific region. Commenting on this, the Chinese ambassador said, "We praised Bangladesh's foreign policy of 'friendship towards all, malice towards none.' Bangladesh has not sided with anyone. China has never asked Bangladesh to choose sides. Yet ever since it had construed taking up a conflict with China, the US has been pressuring Bangladesh to take its side. It has been trying to generate mistrust in Bangladesh against China."

Most of the people in Bangladesh feel that China has not played an adequate role in resolving the Rohingya crisis. In response to this contention, Yao Wen said, "I often hear that China has not done enough. I am not quite clear about what 'enough' means. Our objective is to send the Rohingyas back. The problem is of Bangladesh and Myanmar, no one else's. As a friend of the two countries, China is deeply involved in this."

He went on to say, "Under a trilateral initiative, mediated by China, significant advancements were made in 2021. But everything came to a standstill due to the military coup in 2022. But China didn't give up even then. Under China's mediation, recently a delegation from Myanmar visited Cox's Bazar to scrutinise the identity of the Rohingyas. This is the first phase of repatriation."