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4 military deals inked with China

By bdnews24.com
13th-May-2014       
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China has signed four military agreements with Bangladesh to enhance Dhaka's defence capabilities.
They were signed on Monday in presence of visiting General Xu Qiliang, who is the vice-chairman of the central military commission of the Chinese Communist Party.
The agreements were signed with the Bangladesh armed forces and with the Bangladesh University of Professionals run by the armed forces.
Under the agreements, Chinese military would provide military support to Bangladesh armed forces and provide training to military personnel.
They will also help setting up a language laboratory under the agreement at Bangladesh University of Professionals .
All these would be provided free of charge.
Prime Minister's security adviser Major General Tarique Ahmed Siddique (retd), army chief General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, naval chief Vice admiral M Farid Habib, air force chief Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari and Principal Staff Officer Lieutenant General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq were present during the signing.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR), before the signing the visiting team met senior military officials.
Bangladesh recalled China's contribution in developing Bangladesh's armed forces during the meeting and also laid "importance of relationship with China military".
China team also appreciated Bangladesh army's professionalism and committed to increase cooperation for the development of Bangladesh armed forces.
They stressed on exchange of visits on regular basis. The mutual relations between the two armies were established 40 years ago with the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
China was the biggest supplier of arms to Bangladesh in the last five years, according to the respected Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier said two Chinese submarines would be inducted in Bangladesh Navy by 2015 to build it as "a three dimensional force".
Two new frigates - Abu Bakar and Ali Haider - procured from China were commissioned in March this year.
Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jun earlier said the submarines would help Bangladesh bring stability in the region.
He had said China would help strengthen Bangladesh's national defence capabilities which would eventually contribute to the regional stability.
The SIPRI report shows Bangladesh bought anti-ship missiles, tanks, fighter aircrafts and other arms from China between 2008 and 2012.
Analysts say lower cost makes the Chinese arms lucrative for Bangladesh. However, the current Hasina-led government also laid importance on its relationship with China .
Finance minister AMA Muhith says that is needed for ''strategic' reason.
China , alongwith India and Russia, supported the Hasina government after it took charge following the Jan 5 parliament polls. Even as Western countries like US kept ranting for fresh elections, Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang said it would be possible to carry Sino-Bangladesh relations to 'new heights' with Hasina in power.

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