Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Monday urged Bangladeshi businesses not to switch over its supply chain to any other countries as an alternative to China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“I strongly recommend that Bangladesh businesses shouldn’t reconsider their supply chain to switch over to any other countries from China,” he told diplomatic correspondents sharing three reasons -- it is impossible, it will be costly and it is unnecessary considering the situation on the ground.
Acknowledging the impact of coronavirus to some extent, he said people are now getting back to work while businesses returning to normalcy.
Ambassador Jiming said in this special time when some western media posted “false, fabricated and even insulting” reports on China, he sees most of Bangladeshi media maintain a “fair and objective” attitude.
“I really appreciate your efforts and deeds, and sincerely hope that the media of Bangladesh can continue to introduce a real, diverse, open and developing China to Bangladeshi people,” he said adding that the Bangladesh-China relationship is now at its best in history.
On Rohingya issue, the Ambassador said Bangladesh and Myanmar are the main players, not China, but China is helping the two countries find a solution.
Referring to a tripartite approach over Rohingya repatriation, he hoped there will be some “productive” and “substantial” progress going beyond “lip services”.
The Ambassador laid emphasis on stopping further violence in Rakhine state, and early repatriation of the Rohingyas to their place of origin and development in Rakhine for sustainable solution to the crisis.
He said Bangladesh and Myanmar are both good friends of China, and his country wants more dialogue and negotiations between the two countries.
Ambassador Jiming did not want to make any comment on the ruling of the International Court of Justice, the top UN court, that ordered some provisional measures on Myanmar recently.
The Chinese Ambassador said this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and China.
Over the past 45 years, he said, based on the principles of mutual respect and benefit, the China-Bangladesh relationship has withstood the test of time and changes of the international situation and maintains the momentum of robust growth.
“We’ve developed closer high-level exchanges, growing interactions at all levels and in broad areas, and expanding consensus on good-neighborliness, mutual respect, and mutual trust. Practical cooperation has advanced on all fronts with fruitful results,” said Ambassador Jiming.
He said the cultural and people-to-people exchanges have flourished and all of these brought tangible benefits to the people of China and Bangladesh, and made a great contribution to the peace, stability, and development of Asia.
Looking forward into the year of 2020, the Chinese Ambassador said they are ready to join hands with the Bangladesh government and people, taking the 45th anniversary as a great opportunity, to enhance the synergy between our development strategies.
He also laid emphasis on jointly promoting Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), increasing mutual understanding and learning of respective governance, building an even stronger China-Bangladesh community with a shared future and embarking on a new journey.
Responding to a question, the Ambassador said the BRI will be strengthened, not weakened, once China confidently overcomes the current situation caused by coronavirus.
President of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) Angur Nahar Monty and General Secretary Touhidur Rahman also spoke at the event – DCAB Talk.