China to continue providing vaccines for Bangladesh

Diplomatic Correspondent

17 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

China will continue to provide Bangladesh with vaccines to meet its needs, and is ready to discuss vaccine-filling cooperation with Bangladesh to help the country fight against the pandemic.

This was stated by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on the sideline of the International Conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Thursday.

Wang said both sides must jointly oppose the politicisation of the COVID-19 origin tracing.

“China is willing to work with Bangladesh to maintain the development momentum of the China-Bangladesh strategic  partnership of cooperation. China highly appreciates Bangladesh's firm support of China's legitimate stance on issues concerning China's core interests,” the Chinese Foreign Minister said.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Momen thanked the Chinese government for initiating the six-party COVID consultation and expressed Bangladesh’s gratitude to the Chinese Government for standing by the people of Bangladesh at an extremely difficult time by generosity sending vaccine doses as gifts and also opening the commercial supply line.

He reiterated his request to initiate vaccine co-production in Bangladesh with partnership from Bangladeshi and Chinese stakeholders. Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured him of the Chinese government’s support on this issue.

Momen and Wang reciprocated their appreciation to each other for exchanging video messages by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Hasina on the occasions of the joint programme of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Golden Jubilee of  Bangladesh’s independence, and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China respectively.

Both the foreign ministers agreed to continue to work further towards the repatriation of the Rohingyas and also underscored the need to resume the tripartite dialogue.

“China stands ready to provide support and assistance to help with Bangladesh's poverty alleviation through the China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Center,” Wang said.

According to a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Wang said the two countries have been treating each other as equals, showing mutual respect, deepening friendly cooperation and advancing the Belt and Road cooperation.

He said that China and Bangladesh are good neighbours and good friends.

“China will continue to support Bangladesh in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and upholding international fairness and justice and the basic norm of non-interference in internal affairs in international relations,” reads the Chinese statement.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoting AK Abdul Momen said that Bangladesh always insists on the one-China principle and firmly supports China on issues related to China's internal affairs, such as the issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.

Bangladesh thanked China for its timely assistance with vaccines at a critical time.

“Bangladesh opposes making the search for the coronavirus origin a political issue. Bangladesh wishes to launch vaccine-filling cooperation with China, and enhance anti-pandemic cooperation under the framework of the six-nation cooperation mechanism, namely Bangladesh, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka,” reads the Chinese statement.

It said China has set an example of poverty alleviation for the world. Bangladesh supports the China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Center established under China's initiative, and hopes to learn from China's experience in lifting the country out of poverty.

“Bangladesh wishes China to continue to play a mediative and constructive role in properly resolving the Rakhine State issue.”

Earlier, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister also held similar meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Tashkent on Thursday. The Foreign Ministers are currently attending a conference on “Central and South Asia: Regional connectivity. Challenges and opportunities.”

According to a Bangladesh Foreign Ministry release, Momen and Jaishankar discussed a range of issues, including the bilateral and regional connectivity, Covid and vaccination situation in both the countries, the issue of repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals temporarily staying in Bangladesh as well as the cooperation of both countries in various international fora.

Jaishankar expressed his happiness as the supply of vaccination to Bangladesh is back on track from diversified external sources, including under COVAX arrangement.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the partnership and expanding multifaceted cooperation. They also emphasised the need for resuming the activities of various joint mechanisms soon after the Covid scenario in both countries improves.