CHINA AND BANGLADESH STRENGTHEN DEFENCE COOPERATION
The Chinese and Bangladeshi Defence Ministries have signed a series of agreements to help enhance Bangladesh’s defence capabilities. Signed with the Bangladesh Armed Forces and the Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) during a ceremony at Dhaka Cantonment, the four agreements will see China provide military support, including training and logistics, to the Bangladeshi Army, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release. In addition, they cover the provision of assistance for the establishment of a language laboratory at BUP, which is run by the country’s armed forces. Chinese Central Military Commission Vice Chairman General Xu Qiliang, who led a 21-member delegation to the ceremony, was quoted by the Daily Star as saying that China wants to add a new dimension to the already friendly relationship it shares with Dhaka. The four agreements will see the Chinese provide military support, including training and logistics, to the Bangladeshi Army. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s special assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil told bdnews24.com that China is looking to help the country modernise and strengthen its armed forces. The mutual relations between the Bangladeshi and Chinese armies started with the establishment of diplomatic ties 40 years ago. China has emerged as the biggest weapons supplier to Bangladesh over the past five years. A wide range of military equipment, including anti-ship missiles, tanks, fighter aircrafts and other arms, was procured by Bangladesh between 2008 and 2012, according to the Sweden-based think tank SIPRI report.