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Xi Jinping pitches for closer ties with Bangladesh, seeks BRI push

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Chinese President Xi Jinping stated he stands prepared with Bangladesh leaders to raised align the 2 international locations’ methods and collectively promote the development of his multi-billion greenback Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to take the strategic partnership of the 2 international locations to new heights.

Mr. Xi made the remarks on Sunday in an trade of congratulatory messages with his Bangladesh counterpart, Mohammad Abdul Hamid, on the 45th anniversary of the institution of the bilateral diplomatic relationship.

In his message, Mr. Xi hailed the regular and long-term friendship, saying he is able to work with Mr. Hamid to raised align growth methods with Bangladesh, step up cooperation below the framework of the BRI and push ahead the China-Bangladesh strategic, cooperative partnership to a brand new stage, official media reported.

With over $26 billion Chinese investments and $38 billion {dollars} funding commitments, Bangladesh is likely one of the largest recipients of China’s large infrastructure challenge.

China has additionally supplied zero-tariff remedy to 97% of Bangladesh’s exports by including 5,161 extra objects to the prevailing record of three,095 duty-free merchandise.

The BRI seeks to construct rail, maritime and highway hyperlinks from Asia to Europe and Africa in a revival of historic Silk Road buying and selling routes.

India’s considerations

The BRI has been a serious bone of rivalry between India and China as one portion of the hall passes by way of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Besides Pakistan, the place China initiated over $60 billion as a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China has stepped up its enormous infrastructure investments in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives rising considerations of its rising affect in India’s fast neighbourhood.

The BRI is President Xi’s high precedence initiative, which goals agency up China’s international affect.

‘Debt-diplomacy’

The initiative has, nonetheless, attracted allegations, particularly from the U.S., of debt-diplomacy after Sri Lanka handed over its Hambantota Port to a state-run Chinese agency in 2017 for a 99 years’ lease in a debt swap amounting to $1.2 billion. Malaysia has additionally deferred a number of tasks below the BRI, citing value revaluation.

Mr. Xi, in his message to Mr. Hamid, additionally stated the 2 international locations had labored collectively to combat towards COVID-19.

Earlier, China had despatched medical staff to Bangladesh to share its expertise of dealing with coronavirus, which had emerged first in Wuhan in December final yr.

Bangladesh can also be amongst a dozen international locations the place the scientific trials of Chinese vaccine are below approach.



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