PM’s China visit: Renewed effort to resolve Rohingya crisis
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to China has been scheduled from July 1 to 5. It's expected that during the upcoming visit, number of bilateral agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between Bangladesh and China to implement different infrastructure development projects in Bangladesh. It is worth mentioning that several mega projects are being implemented in the country with China's financial and technical assistance. The most important aspect of the scheduled visit, however, is to engage China to put pressure on Myanmar to take back more than million Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. China has reportedly shown interest to work with Bangladesh.
China is the second largest economy after USA. At the same time China's geopolitical influence has been reached to its pick in centuries. Thus, China has become one of the most important regional powers in the South-East and South Asia. The country has invested huge sums of money in both Bangladesh and Myanmar. Therefore it will be a matter of shrewd geopolitical calculations for the Chinese leadership.
China has its particular interest in this violence prone Rakhine province of Myanmar, for example: rail, highway, and pipeline connections between Yunnan province and the coast of Bay of Bengal. And if separatists/fundamentalists prevail in this region, China's energy security and business interests will be under direct threat. Under these circumstances, China's respective investments in both Bangladesh and Myanmar may incur loss unless peace and stability are not ensured in the region.
Time demands to expand the sphere of strategic partnership between the two countries. By strengthening strategic partnership with Bangladesh, China can ensure its interest in the Bay of Bengal.
We believe, diplomatic ties anywhere around the world should never be focused on trade and economic ties since diplomacy too has its humane side. We expect our Chinese friends to carefully analyse the moral and ethical aspects of the manmade refugee crisis to have erupted in Myanmar. Only state interest cannot be the sole driving force of a country, especially for a giant like China; humanitarian issues matters too. The economic development of Rakhine state is important, at the same time, repatriation of the ethnic communities there with respect to their right to citizenship is more important.
Our foreign minister expects a positive outcome regarding China's involvement in resolving the Rohingya crisis, and we also hope the best. We believe Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will once more prove her astute diplomatic skills to put an end to the manmade humanitarian crisis.