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PM seeks Chinese cooperation to repatriate Rohingyas

PM seeks Chinese cooperation to repatriate Rohingyas

Diplomatic Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called upon China to help Bangladesh repatriate the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar.

"Help send the Rohingyas back to Myanmar," she was quoted as saying by Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud in a media briefing on her engagements on the second day of her visit to China.

Sheikh Hasina made the remarks when a high-level Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a very important wing of the Chinese Communist Party led by its Chairman Wang Huning, held a meeting with the Bangladesh prime minister at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this morning.

During the meeting, different regional and bilateral issues, including the Rohingya crisis, reducing trade gap between Bangladesh and China, celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries in a meaningful way, measures to enhance their bilateral relations and contact between Bangladesh Awami League and Chinese Communist Party, were prominently and elaborately discussed.

The Bangladesh prime minister said Rohingyas took shelter over six and a half years ago but no initiative has been taken yet to repatriate them to Myanmar.

"This issue was discussed [during the meeting] with the utmost importance," Hasan said.

The CPPCC chairman said they will discuss the matter with Myanmar and play the role of facilitator between Bangladesh and Myanmar over the issue. "We will give our best efforts to initiate Rohingya repatriation by holding discussions with Myanmar."

Finance Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Press Secretary M Nayeemul Islam Khan, and Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad were present, among others, during the briefing.

Trade gap

Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need to reduce the trade gap between Bangladesh and China.

She said Bangladesh has imported huge goods from China while the list of export items is very small.

China can increase imports from Bangladesh to reduce the trade gap, she opined.

The prime minister said China can import medicines, leather goods, jute products, vegetables, and mangoes from Bangladesh.

The CPPCC leaders said they will take measures to import quality goods from Bangladesh.

They also discussed in detail the existing ties between the two countries and hoped to enhance the relations further, Hasan said.

In this regard, the prime minister said the relations between Bangladesh and China reached a new height and were rooted in the deep at the initiative of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangabandhu made visits to China in 1952 and 1957, she said, adding that she herself visited China six times.

The prime minister thanked the Chinese government for helping in building some iconic projects including the Padma Bride, Bangabandhu Tunnel, and Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC).

Enhancing relations between the Bangladesh Awami League and the Chinese Communist Party have also been discussed during the meeting.

Sheikh Hasina, also president of the Awami League, said that her party will send a high-level delegation to China. She also invited the Chinese Communist Party to visit Bangladesh.

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