Ambassador Li Jiming
China does not consider India a strategic rival: Ambassador Li Jiming
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming has emphasized that China never takes India as a “strategic rival” rather they consider India a good neighbour of China. “I would say, we never take India as a strategic rival. We still hope that the China-India relationship can be improved. So, never imagine that China would like to have any hostile or rival attitude to India. That’s not the case,” said the envoy. Read: Never worry about any 'debt trap': Beijing to Dhaka He made the remarks while responding to a question at an online symposium titled “Bangladesh-China Relations: Prognosis for the Future” hosted by the Cosmos Foundation and premiered on its Facebook page on Thursday evening. Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan delivered the opening remarks at the event while Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, renowned scholar-diplomat and adviser on foreign affairs to the last caretaker government, chaired the session. Ambassador (retd) Tariq A. Karim, CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, former Foreign Secretary Shamsher M. Chowdhury, Assistant Researcher of the Institute for International Studies at Yunnan University Dr Zou Yingmeng, Assistant Research Fellow at China Institute of International Studies Dr Ning Shengnan, former Ambassador Serajul Islam and Dhaka University Professor Dr Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir comprised the panel of discussants. The Chinese Ambassador mentioned a number of platforms where the two countries are working together. “We’re still working very, very well together, very closely.” Read: Rohingya Repatriation: Beijing assures to act as bridge to facilitate early results Ambassador Li, as the Chinese Ambassador to India’s neighboring country - Bangladesh, hoped that this China-India relationship would be improved more in the future. Historically, they envoy said, they have more than 2000 to 3000 years of good relationship with India, and any Chinese intellectual like himself has a special feeling for Indian culture. “Any Chinese intellectual, who is well-educated, would have a special feeling. A good feeling, towards India - that is something untold publicly probably,” he said. Enayetullah Khan fondly recalled interviewing the present Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing back in 2004 (when he was the Vice-Foreign Minister) when Minister Yi talked about new foreign policy which is good neighborly relations with their neighbors. “I asked, where does Bangladesh stand? His immediate answer was – Bangladesh could be the bridge between India and China,” Khan said, going down his memory lane. As one of the discussants raised the Quad issue - the 4-country alliance between the USA, Australia, Japan and India, that is seen as anti-Beijing. The Ambassador took the opportunity to explain what he said on the issue of Bangladesh possibly being invited to join, at a particular programme. “As an Ambassador to Bangladesh, the first foreign policy lesson I learned is that Bangladesh adheres to the idea of "friendship to all and malice to none." So, I have full confidence that Bangladesh will not be part of that small clique,” he said. “But when I was asked if you would like to see or do you think this is a good idea for Bangladesh to do so, of course, I would say no. What else can you expect from me? Should I say yes? That would have been ridiculous. So that is the story about Quad,” Ambassador Li added. He said he has full confidence and China has full confidence in Bangladesh that it would never take part in any small clique, especially involving military or security purposes. “This is the history that already taught us that Bangladesh would never do that.” The example of Sri Lanka came up in the context of a country that fell into a “debt trap” as a result of public investment projects financed by China. Ambassador Li, who delivered the keynote address at the symposium, however said there is no proven evidence that China created any 'debt trap' in any country, including in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. “I think you have an excellent system and you’ve excellent officials and Ministers to take care of that. So, never worry about that,” said the Ambassador. Referring to an article he read regarding Sri Lanka's debt situation, the Chinese envoy said the total Chinese debt accounts for only less than 8 percent of the whole debt of that country and of this 8 percent Chinese debts, much less is related to the Belt and Road projects. The Ambassador also said there is governmental to governmental debt, which is normally a soft, concessional loan with a very low interest and for a very long period of time. Dr. Debapriya of CPD said China has emerged as a big financial investor in Bangladesh involving major projects and those projects have major infrastructural implications.
It's very regrettable, says FM on China's Quad remarks
Terming Chinese envoy's recent remarks very regrettable, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh maintained a non-aligned and balanced foreign policy and it will decide what to do following that principles. "We’re an independent and sovereign State. We decide our (own) foreign policy. But yes, any country can uphold its position," he told reporters adding that they recall with respect what others say but did not expect such behaviour from China. The Foreign Minister made the remarks when his comments sought on Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming's remarks on "Quad" and Bangladesh. "Naturally, he (Ambassador) represents a country. They can say what they want. Maybe they don't want it (Bangladesh's joining Quad)," Dr Momen said, adding that no one from the Quad has approached Bangladesh yet. “The comment has been an advanced one,” said the Foreign Minister. He said usually China does not interfere in others' internal affairs and they did not see anyone saying anything in such an aggressive way. "It's very regrettable." Also read: Beijing wants Dhaka not to join Quad Dr Momen said they (China) can say their position and Bangladesh always welcomes what others say. "We'll listen to what they say. But we'll decide what is good for us." He said once the United States had asked Bangladesh for selling gas but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina replied to power like the US that Bangladesh would decide after keeping reserve for 50 years. "Who’re you?" Dr Momen said they are lucky that they have a leader like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He said many people at many times had said many things in the past but Bangladesh has done what is good for the country and for the wellbeing of its people guided by its principled position. Dr Momen said they will decide following the foreign policy principles considering the interest of people and the country. "We've maintained a non-aligned and a balanced foreign policy. We’ll continue to do it (maintaining non-aligned and balanced foreign policy)." "What he (Ambassador) said (is) fine. We’ve no special comment on that," Dr Momen added. Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming on Monday said Bangladesh’s relations with China will "substantially get damaged" if Bangladesh joins "Quad", a US-led initiative. Also read: 5 lakh doses of Chinese vaccine to arrive on May 12: Envoy The envoy said obviously it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four countries because it will substantially damage the bilateral relationship between the two countries. “So, we don’t like to see any form of participation by Bangladesh to this small group of countries,” said Ambassador Li. He termed “Quad” a military alliance aiming against China's resurgence and its relationship with neighbouring countries. The US, India, Japan and Australia are part of an informal strategic alliance - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad as it is known. Known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue,” representatives for the four member nations met periodically since its establishment in 2007. While talking to UNB at his residence recently, Dr Momen said then the world was divided into blocks -- one was eastern bloc and another western bloc. Since the eastern bloc helped Bangladesh most, many had thought Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would join the eastern bloc but Bangabandhu did not do it and maintained a non-aligned position, he said. Also read: Ready to offer more support if Covid situation deteriorates in Bangladesh: China The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh still believes in the foreign policy given by Bangabandhu - friendship to all malice to none. Following Bangabandhu's footprint, Dr Momen said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, adopted a balanced and non-aligned foreign policy. He said Bangladesh is in a very good position as it has friends like India and China - two big countries. "We maintain good relations with both the countries." Dr Momen said Bangladesh has had a "rock-solid" relationship with India since 1971 and China is a big economic and development partner. "Others see us with much respect as we maintain good relations with India and China," said the Foreign Minister, adding that Bangladesh could do things that other countries could not.
Tripartite talks: China sounds out "early, durable" solution to Rohingya crisis
On the eve of discussions between Bangladesh and Myanmar on resolving the Rohingya refugee crisis, China, which provides the 'tripartite' framework to the dialogue, said it will continue to support the other two countries to find an early and durable solution.
Hasina keeps surprising world with national achievements: China
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Wednesday said Bangladesh still stands a wonder by becoming a role model of development under the great leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who like her father has been surprising the world through one after another national achievements.
New Starting Point, New Hope
China and Bangladesh are good neighbors and good partners. Especially since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the friendship between the two countries has been fully reflected. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Bangladesh in 1975, the bilateral trade volume has grown rapidly in the context of bilateral friendship. In the year when diplomatic relations were established, the bilateral trade volume between China and Bangladesh was only US$ 3.06 million. While in 2019, the volume has reached US$18.33 billion, a dramatic rise compared with that of the initial time.
Economic ties with China set to enter "significant new stage" of cooperation
With annual GDP growth of more than 6 percent for many years, Bangladesh will remain one of the most dynamic economies in South Asia and the world, says China.
Bangladesh important investment destination; more Chinese companies to come: Ambassador Li Jiming
Ruling out the possibility of any “substantial impact” of the coronavirus outbreak on the ongoing mega projects in Bangladesh, Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming has said more Chinese companies will come to Bangladesh as the country has been a very attractive investment destination.