Dhaka’s growing relation with Delhi ‘won’t affect it with Beijing’
24 November 2015, Nirapad News: Bangladesh’s growing relations with India will have no negative impact on Bangla-Sino ties as China is also looking for stronger relations with India, said a Chinese Foreign Affairs expert.
“There’s no such factor at all. We’ve strong relations with Bangladesh, and now we’re also trying to build better and stronger relations with India. So, where is the point for us to worry about that?” said Dr Li Li, Associate Research Fellow of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR).
She made the remark while responding to question after delivering a lecture on ‘China’s Relations with South Asia’. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) jointly organised the lecture at BIISS auditorium on Monday.
Dr Li, however, said China does not have attached ‘enough significance’ to Bangladesh despite having huge potentials. “It’s not because we don’t want. It’s because we don’t have that capacity to have such a kind of significance,” she explained.
The expert said they, when it is looked at China’s neighborhoods, share borders with at least 14 countries like Russia, India, and North Korea; and have maritime borders with some significant countries. “So, there’re so many issues.”
She described Bangladesh-China relationship as strong, saying, “Bangladesh is a close neighbour with friendly relations. We don’t have big issues [problems] with Bangladesh.”
Responding to a question on IS, Dr Li Li said the stance of Chinese government is very clear. “We’re against any kind of terrorism. That’s very clear. And my understanding is that if there’s any international effort to fight against this movement, I think china would definitely prefer UN mandate. That’s my understanding.”
Replying to a question from Deputy Chief of Mission of the European Union on security situation in Bangladesh, Dr Li said, “I don’t have much to say.”
However, she said everyone should be alert about the expanding momentum of ISIS and AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), which can even pose a threat to China.
The Chinese expert described Beijing’s relationship with Islamabad as ‘all weather strategic partnership’ and the relationship with India as ‘developmental partnership’.
To another question, she said China wants India and Pakistan to enjoy good relationship, which will benefit Beijing as well as the region.
Replying to another question regarding Myanmar, Dr Li reiterated China’s position of non-interference into the internal affairs of any country.
Asked what role China can play to solve the Rohingya problem, she parried the question.
To another query on elections in Myanmar, the Chinese expert said, “We’re waiting for the new government. Political problem is one of the reasons behind the slow development of BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) corridor. A stable political situation may open new opportunities for BCIM.”
She hoped that Bangladesh will play a bigger role in the BCIM initiative.
President and CEO of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) Ambassador Farooq Sobhan presided over the event.
BIISS Chairman Munshi Faiz Ahmad and BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman also spoke on the occasion.