Beijing will ask Myanmar to stop violation of Bangladesh’s territorial sovereignty and speed up the tripartite mechanism for early Rohingya repatriation.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming made the assurance during a meeting with acting foreign secretary Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam at the foreign ministry today (September 26, 2022).
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Jiming said the recent incidents on the border are unfortunate.
He said they discussed ways for early repatriation of Rohingya refugees, recent incidents along Bangladesh-Myanmar border, and bilateral cooperation in other areas.
Early last week, foreign ministry organised separate briefings with the Asean diplomats and other foreign diplomats in Dhaka on the Myanmar-border situation and requested them to use their influence to stop Myanmar’s repeated violation of border rules.
Since late August, mortar shells landed in Bangladesh territory from Myanmar and helicopters flew over the border area where the Myanmar military and rebel group Arakan Army have been fighting since early August.
No representative from the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka was present in that meeting on September 20.
“We had informed the diplomats of the border situation last week. As no one from the Chinese Embassy was there, we informed them about it today,” Khurshed Alam told reporters at the foreign ministry.
He said he sought China’s renewed initiative to speed up the tripartite mechanism, which involves Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, for early repatriation of the Rohingyas. Not a single one of over a million Rohingyas could be repatriated since the biggest influx in 2017.
He said Li Jiming assured that China would raise the issue of Myanmar’s border rules violation with Naypyidaw.
“Our goal is to start the Rohingya repatriation as soon as possible. The situation here is not good so the repatriation process needs to begin,” Khurshed said.
China has constructed a number of houses in Rakhine State for sheltering the Rohingyas when they return. So, if the Rohingyas go there, Myanmar will ensure their safety and security, he added.
Asked if the repatriation is possible as conflict is ongoing in Myanmar including in Rakhine State, he said, “Yes, that’s right. But there is no war where the Rohingyas will be taken.”