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Beijing to push for early Rohingya repatriation

Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming yesterday said China, utilising its traditional friendship with Bangladesh and Myanmar, will do whatever it can to help alleviate the Rohingya crisis and push forward their “early” repatriation.

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Updated: November 25, 2019

“The most important [thing is] China acts. China has been keen to conduct various activities to push forward repatriation,” he said making it clear that China has no right to “lecture” Myanmar on what to do, except making suggestions and conveying messages.

Terming Myanmar and Bangladesh sovereign countries, the ambassador said all the diplomatic activities of China are done following the principle of equality and mutual respect.

The Chinese ambassador was addressing a seminar titled “Finding way to Peaceful Repatriation of Rohingyas” at the Jatiya Press Club.

The ambassador said due to “unreasonably” high expectations, and “manoeuvres done by players with ulterior motives” China’s role has been, to some extent, “exaggerated and misinterpreted”.

He said it is a well-accepted idea in many countries that China has a huge influence over Myanmar, and Myanmar will listen whatever they say and do accordingly.

“This idea easily results in the belief that China is always on the side of Myanmar for economic interests and won’t really help Bangladesh,” said Ambassador Jiming said.

Tripartite Engagement

During the third informal meeting between the three countries in New York this September, Ambassador Jiming said three important decisions were taken on the Rohingya issue.

First, he said, it is the political will and consensus of the three sides that repatriation must be started as early as possible.

Second, the envoy said, a Joint Working Mechanism will be established to delve into the technical issues of repatriation under the political guidance of three Foreign Ministers.

And third, Jiming said, promoting development is a fundamental solution, and border cooperation among China, Bangladesh and Myanmar should be strengthened to create an environment that is conducive to stability and development in the area.

The Ambassador said the State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also announced that China would deploy a medical team and encourage charity organisations in Cox’s Bazar to help the people in need.

The Ambassador said China plays a unique role in finding a sustainable solution to the Rohingya issue. “To put it in one sentence on the Rohingya issue, China concerns, China contributes, and China acts.”

The Ambassador said China will not favour one side over the other. “China is trying to persuade Myanmar all the time that the eventual solution to the Rohingya issue will be beneficial to both countries and, I believe, the Rohingya issue will be settled in the end.”

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Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

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