Bangladesh and China have discussed the possibility of importing ventilation machines from China during this critical moment of coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh.
The two sides also discussed the issue of China’s expert medical teams comprising doctors, nurses and technicians to deal with coronavirus, treat coronavirus-infected people and also provide training to Bangladeshi medical professionals.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen over telephone on Tuesday evening and discussed the issues.
During the telephonic conversation, Dr Momen told his Chinese counterpart about the possibility of bringing an expert team of technicians from China to support ‘Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute and Hospital’ which has been declared as a dedicated facility in Dhaka for coronavirus treatment.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister requested the Chinese Foreign Minister to consider deferral of payments against all Back to Back Letter of Credit (LC) opened in favour of Chinese suppliers for one year.
The Chinese Foreign Minister responded positively and assured him of their full support to Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The two sides also exchanged views on the issue of the Rakhine State. Bangladesh hopes that the return of forcibly displaced persons will start as soon as possible.
China said it is ready to continue to play a mediating role, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
While recalling the cordial meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Xi, Dr Momen requested his Chinese counterpart to help ensure early repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar as promised.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi felt the urge of early repatriation and assured of extending Chinese support to that end.
The two foreign ministers also reiterated their support for each other in the international arena.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed gratitude and thanks to the Bangladesh government for its valued contribution of masks, hand sanitisers, hand gloves etc during the critical moments of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city and other parts of China.
Dr Momen expressed gratitude and thanks to the government of China for their contribution of coronavirus-testing kits, personal protection equipment (PPE) and infrared thermometer.
He also mentioned the contribution of ‘Jack Ma Foundation’ and ‘Alibaba Foundation’.
Dr Momen extended his sincere appreciation to the government of China for taking utmost care of Bangladeshi students in Wuhan and other parts of China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Yi said that as close neighbours and friends, China and Bangladesh have always enjoyed each other's understanding and support, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
When the Chinese people were at a critical moment in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, the government of Bangladesh expressed solidarity and provided support to China.
Now the virus has broken out in various parts of the world, and the number of confirmed cases in Bangladesh is rising.
The Chinese side has been following closely the outbreak in South Asia.
China suggests that the government of Bangladesh step up prevention and control in advance in order to be able to mount an effective response should the virus spread.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said that China, guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, has provided timely outbreak response supplies to assist Bangladesh and mobilised Chinese companies to offer support.
"As the situation continues to evolve in Bangladesh, we are ready to provide more assistance, share our information and experience without any reservation, and send a medical experts team to help with Bangladesh's response efforts," he said.
Yi underscored that as a responsible major country, China will stand firmly with Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries to battle the virus together, counter its impact on the global economy, maintain normal international industrial cooperation the best way we can, and safeguard the safety and well-being of people in our regions and the wider world.
He expressed confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government and people of Bangladesh will defeat the virus and the friendship between China and Bangladesh will be further cemented in the course of the joint fight against COVID-19.
He expressed hope that the Bangladeshi government will continue to do what is necessary to look after the Chinese nationals there and protect their safety and health.
He expressed Bangladesh's solidarity with the China government for observing April 4 as the national mourning day in China.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen was pleased to receive a call from the Chinese Foreign Minister and spoke for 45 minutes.
Chinese Foreign Minister reassured Dr Momen and promised to work together to overcome newer challenges.
The two foreign ministers ended their conversation expressing good wishes for both the countries.