Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Tuesday morning highlighting the "steady and rapid progress" in Bangladesh-China military cooperation in recent years.
The Chinese Defense Minister will arrive at 10am and visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi-32 to pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a senior official told journalists.The Chinese Defense Minister will meet President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban at 3pm.
He will also have meeting with Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed who visited China in November, 2019.
General Fenghe was appointed to head China's Ministry of National Defense at the 13th National People's Congress on March 19, 2018.
The visit is taking place when Bangladesh and China are in discussion on COVID-19 vaccine cooperation.
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane visited Bangladesh this month.Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently said he is willing to work with Bangladesh to further connect their development strategies, deepen practical cooperation across the board, and strive for new outcomes from the Bangladesh-China Strategic Partnership of Cooperation.
“China and Bangladesh are close neighbors and traditional friends. In recent years, China-Bangladesh relations enjoy a sound momentum of development, with strategic mutual trust being strengthened and cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative pressing ahead,” he said in a message to his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid.
China’s Minister of Defence Fenghe is likely to go to Colombo, Sri Lanka from Dhaka on Tuesday before heading towards Beijing.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will have a virtual meeting with his counterparts in five South Asian countries including Bangladesh on Tuesday.
They will discuss issues related to "Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Storage Facility" to help South Asian countries during emergency situation.
Bangladesh, in principle, has agreed on a Chinese proposal to set up an "Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Storage Facility" to ensure quick supply of COVID-19 vaccine among the South Asian countries during any emergency need.
Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which are not producing Covid vaccines, have also received a similar proposal from China and agreed on it.
“We said we don’t have any objection. We, in principle, like it (proposal). Any country might have an emergency need,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters on Thursday.
Bangladesh received the proposal on April 15 and a Minister-level meeting will be held on April 27, he said.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh sought further details on the proposal noting that there was a meeting at secretary level in this regard.
Dr Momen said the Minister-level meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss the proposal in detail.
Dr Momen said China will give 6 lakh doses of vaccine as a gift and hoped that Bangladesh will get a vaccine through commercial purchase soon.
Bangladesh has received 7 million of Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccines through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.
This is the largest amount sent from India to any country.