March 15, 2022
DHAKA – State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam today rejected the recent Nikkei Asia report that claimed China is preparing to set up a maintenance facility in Bangladesh for surface-to-air missile systems it had supplied in 2011.
“There is nothing called China-Bangladesh Missile Maintenance Centre and there is no plan regarding something like that in the future,” he told some reporters at his foreign ministry office today.
The government will protest the news report in writing, he also said.
When a country buys any equipment from another country, the maintenance issue is also included in the contract and there is nothing more beyond that.
“There is no plan on setting up of something like missile maintenance hub,” added the state minister.
Earlier at a dialogue with media at Pan Pacific Sonagaon Hotel yesterday, China’s Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming also said he has no specific information on such a plan.
“Missile maintenance facility? Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information for that. If there is anything like that required by the Bangladesh government, I cannot confirm your information because this is from media,” he said.
He also said China would not set up any military base for its use in any foreign country, including Bangladesh.
The deal on the maintenance hub has not been officially announced either by Beijing and Dhaka, but a senior Bangladeshi diplomat confirmed to Nikkei Asia that the two countries have reached an agreement on the facility, according to the report published on March 11.
Quoting an unnamed Bangladesh official, Nikkei Asia in its report said, “Beijing and Dhaka want to keep this development under wraps currently as China is under increasing scrutiny from the West — particularly the US — for upsetting the security balance in Asia with its territorial aggression.”
The formal announcement of the missile deal has been complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “which has led the world to cry out for peace rather than war”, the Nikkei Asia report also read.
The facility, of which Chinese company Vanguard is a partner, is part of a raft of Chinese military-related investments and supplies going to Bangladesh that also includes warships, naval guns, anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missile systems, the report added.