Wednesday 18 September 2019

Refugee crisis can't be solved by UN: China

Joint Bangladesh/Myanmar solution proposed

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi. Photo: Reuters
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi. Photo: Reuters

Serajul Quadir

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday urged Bangladesh and Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis through bilateral negotiations instead of an international initiative.

"The international community should not complicate the situation," Mr Wang said at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.

"Actions in the United Nations Security Council must help Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral cooperation to resolve the problem peacefully."

Mr Wang arrived in Bangladesh yesterday for a two-day visit and from there he will go to Myanmar to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting.

"China supports resolving the crisis peacefully, bilaterally with mutual consultation between Bangladesh and Myanmar," he said.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August, driven out by a military clearance operation in Buddhist majority Myanmar's Rakhine State.

"It is a complex situation and needs a comprehensive solution. Economic development of Rakhine State is needed. China is ready to help," Mr Wang said.

Earlier in the day, Mr Wang also met Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence in Dhaka and assured her of China's support in solving the crisis.

"Myanmar will have to take back their nationals ensuring their safety, security and dignity for a durable solution to the crisis," Mrs Hasina's private secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the prime minister as saying.

"We will not allow the land of Bangladesh to be used by any terrorist group to commit any act of insurgency in neighbouring countries," she added, according to Karim.

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told Mr Wang that Bangladesh is trying to resolve the issue both bilaterally and internationally as it could not afford the huge burden of the refugees.

A statement from the Bangladesh foreign ministry said that when the issue of displaced Myanmar nationals was raised, Mr Wang stated that China would help resolve the issue and will not be partial to any side.

He acknowledged that Bangladesh is facing the brunt of a continuing influx of Rohingya refugees, the Bangladeshi foreign ministry statement said.

A delegation of US Congressmen is visiting Bangladesh to study the crisis.

And this week the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will visit, along with foreign ministers from Sweden, Germany and Japan.

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