China, Bangladesh to boost military exchange, deepen cooperation

Shakhawat Hossain

China and Bangladesh on Monday agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation during a meeting between visiting Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh and China have long been working closely in various fields and the cooperation has yielded fruitful results. She thanked China for supporting Bangladesh’s economic development and national defence construction.
She said her country is willing to further strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, agriculture, infrastructure, among others, and jointly working on the building of the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor. Underscoring the need for strengthening regional connectivity, she said the BCIM initiative would open up a new door of cooperation and economic activities between the four nations.
She also expressed hope that the two armies would maintain the current positive momentum of cooperation and enhance cooperation and exchanges in all areas and levels so as to promote greater development of bilateral military relations.
While meeting Chang, Hasina reiterated her government’s firm commitment to further modernise and strengthen the armed forces with modern technology to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty. “We want to add modern technology to the armed forces to further enhance their capability … it’s necessary for not only war, also for overall development of the defence forces,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s stance of ‘One China Policy’ and said problems between countries could be resolved through bilateral discussions. Terming China a very important development partner of Bangladesh, she said, “Beijing has been contributing a lot to Bangladesh’s development of various sectors.”
Expressing satisfaction at the talks over Bangladesh-China defence cooperation, the Chinese Defence Minister said: “Both sides felt that high-level exchanges should have to take place.”
Referring to his meetings with the chiefs of the three services in Bangladesh, the Chinese Minister told Prime Minister, “We had fruitful meetings with them and exchanged views on how to further strengthen the defence cooperation.” He also underscored the need for holding training for the mid and junior-level army officers.
At the meeting, Chang also elaborated on China’s position and propositions on the South China Sea issue. The Bangladeshi prime minister said Bangladesh considers that the dispute should be resolved through bilateral negotiations between parties directly concerned without interference by any third party.
During his visit to Bangladesh, Chang met with Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Hug, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed and Chief of Air Staff Marshal Abu Esrar, as well as director of Armed Forces Division under the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s office.
Source: weekly holiday

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