Chinese Ambassador Li Jun on Wednesday called for a face-to-face dialogue between two top leaders of Bangladesh to find ways for a credible, transparent and participatory election.
“I think, it’ll be great help if two top party leaders talk to each other face to face. In order to achieve this, I hope both parties can express goodwill to each other,” the Chinese envoy told a press conference at Radisson Hotel in the city yesterday.
Visiting Rear Admiral of Chinese Navy and Mission Commander of Peace Ark Shen Hao was also present at the press conference.
He said through such small understandings both parties can reach a bigger consensus leading to holding a participatory election.
Asked whether he will take initiatives to arrange such dialogue, Li Jun said, “I can tell you I’ve made my efforts already to push (them) forward for negotiations. I’ll continue to make my efforts…if there’s any prospective for that I’ll do my best.”
Asked whether there is any shift from China’s position, he said, “My answer is no.”
Responding to a question, the envoy said major parties share many common grounds, for example, they both agreed to see the next election as a credible, transparent and participatory one.
“Now the disagreement on how the polls will be held. I think it’s normal to have disagreement, but this should be resolved through negotiations and talks… it won’t be good to show any aggressive acts to each other,” Li Jun added.
He, however, said resolution of the current dispute over the next polls finally rests on the hands of Bangladesh people. “I think politicians and Bangladesh people have the wisdom to do that (resolve dispute).”
The Chinese diplomat said as a close and traditional friend of Bangladesh, China has been giving a great attention to its political situation. “China expects Bangladesh enjoys stability and development. China is also a developing country and stability is very important for development,” he said.
On maritime dispute, Li Jun said it is obvious that there might be some disputes over the ocean and resources. “China proposes the countries involved in this dispute to resolve those through negotiations.
He said there is no problem in Bangladesh-China relations but the only thing that can take place is expansion of mutual interest.
Trade and Economy
The envoy said though the global economy is not so sound right now, trade between Bangladesh and China is growing fast.
“Bangladesh’s export to China is growing faster than China’s export to Bangladesh. For example, the first quarter of the current fiscal saw a 25 percent growth,” he added.
The envoy mentioned that China is providing zero tariff facilities for Bangladeshi products. “Bangladeshi exporters can avail themselves of the advantage. Bangladesh has good potential to do better in economy.”
Li Jun said China’s economy is now passing through a transitional period and its growth came down to single digit from the double digit growth. “But China still has a solid foundation.”
BD-China Naval Cooperation
Mission Commander Shen Hao said he had a very fruitful discussion with Bangladesh officials during his two-day stay here and there is ample scope to enhance naval and military cooperation between the two countries. “We’re talking to each other like brothers.
Responding to a question he said they had agreed on some points but did not have any talks on submarine purchase. “We talked about our visit. We can have a more extended cooperation.”
Chinese Hospital Ship
Chinese Naval Hospital Ship ‘Ark Peace’ arrived in Chittagong on Monday on a six-day goodwill visit. The ship with 413 naval personnel, including over 100 medical staff, was anchored at Jetty No. 5 of New Mooring Container Terminal of Chittagong port in the morning.
The ship visited eight countries, and Bangladesh is the only country where it visited twice to provide treatment to local people, Shen Hao said adding that it is a symbol of harmony, friendship, cooperation and peace.