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Moreover, during this period, China provided economic assistance of an amount of 1. The two sides signed several agreements, including: 1. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation. Executive Program of the Cultural Agreement for a period from to Overall, Jibao expressed that China and 22 Policy of giving special focus on international relations of Bangladesh with East Asian countries. Noor Mohammad Sarker Bangladesh-China Relationship 79 Bangladesh were committed to establishing a comprehensive and cooperative partnership of long term friendship, equality, and mutual benefits.

Fakhruddin Ahmed paid an official working visit to China from September Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement. Framework Agreement on Shahjalal Fertiliser Factory.

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Agreement on the 7th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge. Moreover, China has rapidly been moving faster to be the largest trading partner of Bangladesh in the Asian region. In addition, China has freed Bangladesh from bilateral debts of worth more than million Chinese yen in Shahadat Hossain, , in supra note 4. Bangladesh changed its foreign policy outlooks focusing on China, dramatically, after the historic change of the Government of Bangladesh on August 15, Even the founding leader of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was agitated by a number of tactless policies of India and, consequently, was focusing on China for leverage in dealing with India.

Ultimately, the mutual collaboration on several issues, including economic, military, cultural, educational, science and technological, has helped to construct outstanding political and diplomatic ties between these two countries. For the first time, as a Bangladeshi supreme leader, he visited China twice during and , and also invited the Chinese leaders to visit Bangladesh.

Noor Mohammad Sarker Bangladesh-China Relationship 81 relations would always remain healthy and well, no matter how the domestic and international situation would change. Conversely, major exports include textiles, machinery and electronic products, cement, fertilizer, tire, maize, organic chemicals, coffee, spices, organic foods, silk fabrics, etc. The products include medicinal materials, leather, timber, textile, readymade garments and poultry products. In terms of infrastructural development, China has already built six bridges in Bangladesh.

For instance, the 4. In this regard, former Chinese Ambassador 51 Supra note In this milieu, the direct flights between the capitals of the two countries have been started functioning since May The two sides also expressed consent over reviving the direct road connection through using the ancient Southern Silk route between Chinese city of Kunming and the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong See, Map 1.

So far, Bangladesh has entered into a long-term defense agreement with China. The parties would cooperate in safeguarding, technical servicing and modernization of the above. There had also been cooperation in licensing the production of military hardware, training of technical personnel and exchange of relevant intelligence and data. It was the first such agreement signed by Bangladesh with any country. In between and , the two countries held five meetings about bilateral cooperation on science and technology.

In this regard, achievements had been attained in the following days about the bilateral cooperation on flood control and regulation of rivers. Two countries also agreed to cooperate in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially to meet up the rising demand for power in Bangladesh.

Since , Bangladesh and China started student-exchange program. In , for example, 58 Bangladeshi students were pursuing their studies in China. Later, the Chinese Government has also increased scholarship quota for Bangladeshi students from 50 to 80 on an annual basis. Following the signing of the agreement, bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture and sports have been constantly strengthened over time. A group of cultural representatives from Bangladesh visited China in Within a year, there were 18 bilateral visits in total between the two countries, comprised of 97 personnel.

Afterward, the two countries again exchanged 7 visits, including 47 personnel. Moreover, the number of Bangladeshi tourists visiting China has also increased significantly following the inauguration of direct flights between Dhaka and Beijing. On the other hand, efforts have also been made by the Chinese government to draw attention to Bangladesh as a popular destination among the Chinese tourists.

In addition, the national tourism organization of Bangladesh and the private sector tour service providers have been establishing business contacts with their Chinese counterparts. Over the years, they have also been actively participating in different tourism and travel fairs, being held in China. Major Challenges of Bilateral Relationship Massive Trade Gap One of the key challenges facing Bangladesh-China bilateral relationship is the existing high volume of trade gap between these countries.

Since the very beginning of bilateral trade relationship, Bangladesh has long been suffering from huge trade deficits with China. We could sell a great deal more to the Indians if they allowed us. For instance, under the Bangkok Agreement of , China provides free access to 84 Bangladeshi products to the Chinese territory. To reduce the gap, China had also agreed to make joint ventures in trade and commerce; to import Bangladeshi products in large quantities under official policies; to encourage Chinese investment in Bangladesh; and so on under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement APTA of , a renamed version of Bangkok Agreement.

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India Factor One of the foremost challenges to this bilateral relationship at the dawn of the twenty-first century is to overcome the decades-long Bangladesh-India-China trilateral complexities. China too has its own limitations, as it would not want to sabotage improving relations with India by over emphasizing its relationship with Bangladesh.

Since , Bangladesh and China maintained a closer political, economic, military and cultural relationship. Over the years, they have signed a number of bilateral treaties, agreements, and MoUs on mutual economic engagement, cultural sharing, infrastructure development, educational exchange and, most importantly, on military assistance.

India has long been concerned about the safety of Siliguri corridor See, Map 2 , which is around km long and 40 km wide. Hence, Bangladesh-China bilateral ties constantly keep India concerned about any possible threat to the corridor. China has long been a major source of arms import for Bangladesh, such as tanks, missiles, fighter aircrafts, frigates, etc. Growing military cooperation between these countries made India suspicious about any possible military threat jointly from Bangladesh and China over North- east of India.

Hence, to overcome any potential crisis, India ensured its military presence at the area by deploying a large portion of Indian Army and Air Force, equipped with the sophisticated arsenal, including tanks, missiles, MiG, MiG, Su and so on. India is also concerned about the rising Chinese interest over the Chittagong seaport.

China has long been showing its interest for investing here in order to facilitate a deep seaport. The strategy refers to the network of some deep sea ports in selected offshore countries of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans having access to China.

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China is keen to invest for developing these seaports with a declaratory posture of securing its sea lanes of communication SLOCs throughout the Indian and the Pacific Ocean Rims. Therefore, in order to reduce trade imbalance, the Government of Bangladesh needs to take initiatives for direct communication with the Chinese business community to expand its export volume to China and remove its structural problems as the Chinese market is quite diversified and competitive.

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Increasing domestic pressure on electricity and gas in the development sectors of Bangladesh can be controlled by providing more investments and facilitating technological know how on this area. In that case, Chinese experience and expertise may facilitate a large contribution. Bangladesh may stipulate the Chinese assistance to build a nuclear power-plant in order to meet the current energy crisis. Bangladesh also requires following the role of China to bring political stability in Asia.

Even as the PRC has grown stronger economically and militarily, especially since launching the reform and opening policies of Deng Xiaoping in , PRC officials continue to insist China is a developing country. In the initial stages of reform and opening, China's relations with the developed world were shaped by its desire to expand trade and attract investment. In the s, China increased its attention to the Developing World, negotiating economic agreements and creating new China-centric institutions.

China-ASEAN Cooperation and the Dawn of the Asian Century

This accelerated in the s and especially after the financial crisis, when there were worldwide doubts about the developed-world, and especially the U. China's attention to the Developing World has culminated in numerous institutions and in the new Belt and Road Initiative. The authors analyze China's political and diplomatic, economic, and military engagement with the Developing World, region by region, focusing on the 21st century through the beginning of the Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious vision that builds on China's previous activities.

The authors discuss specific countries in each region — so-called pivotal states — that are most important to China. The authors show that China has oriented its security concerns and its overall engagement in concentric circles of importance. Near neighbors merit the most attention. The authors conclude with policy implications for the United States. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. Research Questions What is China's political and diplomatic, economic, and military engagement with the Developing World, region by region?

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What states in each region does China consider pivotal to its security and external relations? China's involvement with the Developing World encompasses political and diplomatic, economic, and military dimensions The Developing World offers China economic growth and global influence. Beijing has a growing challenge of protecting overseas citizens and investments. Southeast Asia is China's top priority economically and politically.

China's geostrategic relationships with pivotal states focus on anticipated bilateral and regional benefits China sees benefits in Malaysia economic , Indonesia political , Thailand trustworthiness , and Vietnam geostrategic risk. Russia concentrates on military activities and shares China's interests in countering terrorism and Western ideas of democracy and human rights.