Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. –UNB photo.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Saturday afternoon to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues with Bangladeshi leaders in hopes of “uplifting” relations with Bangladesh to a “new level”.
Bangladeshi Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque received Chinese Foreign Minister upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 5:15 p.m., a senior official said.
Foreign Minister Masud Bin Momen and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming were present at the airport.
From the airport, Minister Wang was heading to the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32 to pay homage to the founding President of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, will receive the Chinese Foreign Minister at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
Awami League Secretary General and Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader is to host a dinner in honor of the Chinese foreign minister on Saturday evening.
“We hope that this visit will provide an opportunity to further implement the common understandings between the leaders of the two countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and elevate relations to a new level,” said the door-keeper. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying.
She said they “highly value” their relationship with Bangladesh and that the Chinese foreign minister was visiting Bangladesh at the invitation of Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.
Minister Wang is due to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday morning in addition to holding a bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Momen on the same day.
The meeting between Foreign Minister Momen and his Chinese counterpart Wang is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. (starting with breakfast) at Sonargaon Hotel.
“They will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” Chinese spokesperson Chunying said.
Bangladesh is likely to deepen its economic ties with China and its long-term security ties with India to avoid becoming a full-fledged client state of either, according to the analyst site. geopolitical risks – Foreign Brief.
Potential topics include expanding Chinese foreign direct investment and handing over the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge to the Bangladeshi government, he added.
Nearly a third of Bangladesh’s imports come from China, and China has pledged to invest $40 billion in joint ventures and infrastructure projects through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a- he added.
“This is going to be different from other bilateral visits. I can’t tell you in detail right now because a lot of things are still under last minute discussion,’ another official familiar with the development told UNB, on condition of anonymity.
Foreign Minister Momen is expected to return home Saturday evening from Cambodia after attending the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting.
Speaking to Foreign Ministry reporters on Thursday, Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh and China are likely to sign several memorandums of understanding and agreements during Wang’s visit.
He said the list is not yet finalized and may be five to seven – new and renewal, including cooperation on the fronts of disaster management and cultural exchanges.
Shahriar assured that the MoUs and planned agreements will be aligned with the cultural, social and economic policy of Bangladesh, although the list is not yet finalized.
The state minister said Bangladesh-China relations are “deep and extensive” and the two countries will discuss areas of future cooperation.
Responding to a question, the Minister of State said that Bangladesh would seek to strengthen the role of the Chinese government for the rapid repatriation of Rohingyas.
Bangladesh hosts over 1.1 million Rohingya and there is a tripartite mechanism – Bangladesh, Myanmar and China – to discuss and resolve the crisis.
In January 2017, Wang made a one-hour layover in Dhaka. This time he comes for a longer period.
The Chinese foreign minister is expected to leave Dhaka for Mongolia shortly after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The visit comes amid growing geopolitical tensions impacting developing countries in the region, while experts suggest Bangladesh should strike a strategic balance amid these tensions.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said getting a new loan from China will not be on their agenda during the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to Bangladesh.
“This time the question of taking a new loan is not there at least,” he said on Wednesday when a reporter asked if Bangladesh would take a loan from China again.
Asked about the message the visit carries amid the crisis in various parts of the world, the foreign secretary said it would be known once the Chinese foreign minister comes.
He reiterated that the visit is part of the Chinese side’s routine visit to the region and is also an opportunity to review existing commitments between the two countries.
Wang is a member of the 19th CPC Central Committee, a State Councilor and a member of the CPC Leading Group of the State Council.
From Dhaka, the Chinese Foreign Minister will visit Mongolia at the invitation of Mongolian Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh.