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Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali of Bangladesh Meet the Press

On June 29, 2018, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met the press with Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali of Bangladesh after their talks held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Wang Yi expressed that Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali and I held in-depth and friendly talks just now, reaching many consensuses on China-Bangladesh relations and issues of common concern.

We agreed to be good neighbors sharing ever-lasting friendship and good partners with common development. President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Bangladesh in 2016, elevating China-Bangladesh relations to strategic cooperative partnership and comprehensively planning bilateral cooperation in various fields. Such gestures are of milestone significance in China-Bangladesh relations. Attaching great importance to Bangladesh, China is willing to put bilateral relations into a more important position in China's diplomacy, especially in its neighborhood diplomacy. We are pleased to see that the United Nations (UN) confirmed that Bangladesh graduated from the least developed countries this March and is making great strides towards realizing the "Sonar Bangla" dream. Under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, the Chinese people are accelerating their ambitious goal of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. As close neighbors and partners, China and Bangladesh face a rare and great opportunity to strengthen cooperation. Both sides should understand each other, trust each other, support each other, and carry out in-depth cooperation, so as to jointly create a new situation for the development of bilateral relations.

Wang Yi noted that we both agreed to promote and gear up practical cooperation, strengthen the alignment of development strategies, and focus on advancing the "troika" cooperation of infrastructure, trade and investment, and development aid. The construction of major projects between China and Bangladesh is progressing smoothly and has played an important role in promoting Bangladesh's economic and social development. The Chinese side has provided necessary financing support in this regard. Bangladesh was the country that received the most preferential loans from China last year and this year. China will take measures to expand imports from Bangladesh and welcomes Bangladesh to participate in the first China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November. The two sides will promote the feasibility study on the Free Trade Agreement and strive for substantive progress. The Chinese side supports Bangladesh in improving its capacity for independent development and accelerating the process of industrialization and will continue to support enterprises of the two countries in carrying out investment cooperation in such fields as financial services as well as help Bangladesh develop new industries such as "Internet Plus". We are pleased to see that Bangladesh has become the ninth overseas wallet partner of Alipay along the Belt and Road route. This shows that the joint construction of the Belt and Road has brought tangible benefits to the countries along the route and also shows that there is still much room and potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. All in all, China is willing to further strengthen its practical cooperation with Bangladesh and help Bangladesh realize its "Sonar Bangla" dream.

Wang Yi said that we also exchanged views on promoting the proper settlement of issues concerning the Rakhine State. As a good neighbor and good friend of Bangladesh and Myanmar, China hopes that Bangladesh and Myanmar can solve relevant issues through friendly consultation, thus creating a sound external environment for respective development. I met with visiting Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor U Kyaw Tint Swe of Myanmar in Beijing yesterday, during which I listened to his introduction on Myanmar's efforts to resolve this issue. I clearly felt that Myanmar is ready to accept the repatriation of people who fled to Bangladesh. Just now I also listened to Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali's introduction and felt that Bangladesh also has a clear will to speed up the settlement of this issue. Under the joint efforts of Bangladesh and Myanmar, including the efforts of the relevant specialized agencies of the UN, the conditions for initiating the repatriation of people who fled from the Rakhine State have been basically met. It is hoped that the first batch of the repatriation work will be implemented as soon as possible so as to accumulate conditions for the orderly promotion of the repatriation work in the next step.

Wang Yi noted that China once put forward a three-phased proposal of addressing the Rakhine State issue. First is to realize the on-site ceasefire and resume stability and order. This goal has been achieved. Second is to initiate the repatriation process through communication and consultation between Bangladesh and Myanmar. This step is expected to be taken in the near future. Third is to push forward this region to shake off poverty and eliminate the cause of instability through stimulating development, which will enable both Bangladesh and Myanmar to concentrate their energy on economic development and realize the development goals and dreams of their respective countries. China will continue to play a constructive role to this end.

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