China-Bangladesh relation

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by leonblack08, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    China has been an all weather friend of Bangladesh.Although they were against the liberation war of 1971,the relation between both countries improved significantly in late seventies.

    Today China is the largest arms supplier to Bangladesh.And they left India behind to become largest exporter to Bangladesh.

    China's investment are evident in EPZs,coal mines and other fields.They have also helped in infrastructure development like building bridges and roads.
     
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  3. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    China-Bangladesh Relations and Potential for Regional Tensions​

    Publication: China Brief Volume: 9 Issue: 15July 23, 2009 02:58 PM Age: 12 days
    By: Vijay Sakhuja


    The geographic area encompassing South Asia and its contiguous maritime spaces are of growing strategic importance to China, as reflected in China’s web of partnerships and coalitions with states in the region. The dynamics of these relationships appear on the surface to be based on interdependence, but are actually driven by long-term political, economic and strategic interests. Among the South Asian states, Bangladesh is an important player in Beijing's political-military calculus and provides China with added leverage to check Indian forces. This is evident from the regular political exchanges and enhanced military cooperation between the two countries. According to Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Bangladesh's ambassador to China, Bangladesh and China have enjoyed a "time-tested, all-weather friendship" (China Daily, March 26).

    During their meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. Conference on the World Financial and Economic crisis in June 2009, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi assured his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni that it was China’s policy to "strengthen and develop the relations of friendship and cooperation with Bangladesh." For her part, Moni said that "Bangladesh sees China as its close friend and cooperation partner" (Xinhua News Agency, June 26).

    China and Bangladesh established diplomatic relations in 1975, although Beijing initially did not recognize Bangladesh as a separate state in 1971. Since then, the friendship between the two countries has grown to cover a wide spectrum of bilateral relations. At the onset of official relations, the Chinese leadership has consistently advised Bangladesh to pursue an independent foreign policy and encouraged it to move away from India’s sphere of influence. According to discussions (March 2009) that this author had with some retired Indian army officers, they believe that Chinese leaders may have even given Bangladesh security assurances that Beijing would stand by Dhaka and help it defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity should it be threatened by India.

    Bangladesh maintains a very close relationship with China for its economic and military needs (Daily Star [Dhaka], February 19, 2006). Over the years, the two sides have signed a plethora of bilateral agreements that range from economic engagements, soft loans, social contacts, cultural exchanges, academic interactions, infrastructure development and military sales at "friendship" prices. Top-level state visits, both by the ruling party and the opposition leaders to China have increased markedly [1]. Bangladesh sees China not only as its close friend, but also as a counter-weight when dealing with India. This is notwithstanding the fact that China and Bangladesh have not established a strategic partnership, and according to Bangladeshi analysts, have kept their relationship "unarticulated, flexible and ambiguous" thus allowing Dhaka "to reap the benefits of a strategic partnership with a nuclear power without involving itself in any formal defense arrangement" (Daily Star [Dhaka], February 19, 2006).

    Arming the Military

    China has emerged as a major supplier of arms to the Bangladeshi armed forces. In 2006, China supplied 65 artillery guns and 114 missiles and related systems (The Assam Tribune, October 9, 2007). Most of the tanks (T-59, T-62, T-69, and T-79), a large number of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), artillery pieces and small arms and personal weapons in the Bangladesh Army are of Chinese origin [2]. There are plans to acquire 155mm PLZ-45/Type-88 (including transfer of technology) and 122mm Type-96 as well MBRLs from China by 2011 (***********/forum, March 19, 2009.

    Admiral Zhang Lianzhong, the erstwhile Commander of the PLA Navy, had reportedly assured his Bangladeshi counterpart of cooperation in the sophisticated management of the navy [3]. The Bangladeshi Navy is largely made up of Chinese-origin platforms. These include the 053-H1 Jianghu I class frigates with 4 x HY2 missiles, Huang Feng class missile boats, Type-024 missile boats, Huchuan and P 4 class torpedo boats, Hainan class sub chasers, Shanghai class gun boats and Yuchin class LCUs [4]. The BNS Khalid Bin Walid has been retrofitted with HQ-7 SAM from China. (FM-90 Surface-to-Air Missile System, bdmilitary.com). In 2008, BNS Osman successfully test fired a C-802 ASM in the presence of the Chinese Defense Attaché Senior Colonel Ju Dewu (The Daily Star, May 13, 2008).

    China began supplying fighter aircraft to the Bangladesh Air Force in 1977 and, over the years, has delivered F7 and Q5 fighter aircraft and PT 6 Trainers [5]. In 2005, 16 F-7BG were ordered and the deliveries began in 2006 (Bangladesh Biman Bahini, scramble.nl, July 5, 2009).

    Although Dhaka has argued that its relations with Beijing are based on mutual understanding and political and economic interests, New Delhi is anxious about Bangladesh’s growing military contacts on several fronts. First, concern arises from India's vulnerability in the Siliguri corridor, often referred to as the ‘chicken neck’. This 200 kilometers (km) long and 40 km wide corridor links mainland India by rail, road and air with its Northeast region, a part of which (90,000 sq km in Arunachal Pradesh) is claimed by China and is a significant source of tension for bilateral relations. At present, there is significant PLA deployment along the borders. To its north is Bhutan, and in the south is Bangladesh. The Siliguri corridor figures prominently in the Sino-Bangladesh friendship and the two sides, according to Indian military experts, have a sophisticated strategy to sever India from the Northeast region. It is also noted that ‘China wants to get Tawang [an administrative district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh] to come closer to the Siliguri corridor’ so that it can link up with Bangladesh from the north (Why Assam Bleeds, sify.com, November 10, 2008).

    The corridor also contains elements that can destabilize the region. Illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Indian insurgent groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), who have safe heavens in Bangladesh, crisscross through porous borders that can act as catalysts for social disorder, unrest and insurgency. According to one analyst, the ULFA leadership has shifted its base to China, and the investigations relating to the March 2004 offloading of a weapons consignment from China at Chittagong seaport revealed the complicity of government agencies (India, Bangladesh: Joint Task Force for Countering Militancy, sspconline.org, May 27, 2009) In that context, then-Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Morshed Khan's warning in 2005 that if India surrounds Bangladesh, Bangladesh also surrounds India, has many implications.

    Snooping and Spying

    Firstly, there are fears among the Indian military establishment that Dhaka may grant military basing rights to China, thus complicating India’s security in the Northeast. This could result in the monitoring of Indian military movements, particularly of the Indian Army that is deployed in the region. There are several strategic Indian Air Force bases such as Bagdogra (with MiG-21 fighter jet deployed), Hashimara (with MiG-27 fighter jet deployed), and Tezpur (with Su-30 fighter jet deployed). These bases and military aircraft could easily come under a Bangladesh-China electronic and radar surveillance network during a crisis or impending hostilities.

    Second, there are concerns that Bangladesh may offer Chittagong port for development to China, ostensibly for commercial purposes, but which could also be used for staging Chinese naval assets. This is to be expected and can be reasonably tied to the Chinese development of Gwadar port in Pakistan and Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. Third, China will be able to monitor Indian missile testing conducted at Chandipur-at-sea near Balasore, Orissa, and also naval activity in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

    China’s Bay of Bengal Energy Triangle

    At another level, China has cultivated its relations with Bangladesh and has emerged as a mediator in the latter’s international disputes. In November 2008, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma) deployed their navies in a standoff in the Bay of Bengal over Myanmar’s decision to issue licenses to oil companies to undertake survey activity in disputed waters. Among the several oil companies engaged in offshore exploration in Myanmar’s waters, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) was awarded a block that falls into those belonging to Bangladesh. Dhaka requested Beijing, their common friend, to mediate, and after his meeting with Zheng Qingdian, the Chinese ambassador in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s foreign minister, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, noted “I have explained our peaceful intentions to our Chinese friends and hope that Myanmar stops activities on the disputed waters” (Reuters, November 5, 2008). The standoff ended after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to resolve the issue through negotiations.

    Both Bangladesh, which has a reserve of 15.51 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and Myanmar, which has a reserve of 81.03 tcf, have the potential to satisfy the increasing energy requirements of Asia—particularly, China and India [6]. Chinese oil and gas companies are aggressively engaged in the Bay of Bengal in exploration and production activities to push the gas through pipelines linking offshore platforms in Myanmar to Kunming in China and also to feed the new refinery in Chongqing municipality. According to the China Securities Journal, work on two new pipelines will commence in September 2009 (Reuters, June 17). The 2,806 km long natural gas pipeline with a capacity of 12 billion cubic meters annually to Kunming will be ready by 2012. The second 1,100 km pipeline for oil with a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) would run between Kyaukphyu in Myanmar to Kunming and would be extended to Guizhou and Chongqing municipality.

    Likewise, China is also interested in a Malaysian pipeline and refinery project estimated to cost about $14.3 billion. This 320 km west-east pipeline has the capacity to transfer 800,000 (bpd) and the refinery’s capacity to process 200,000 bpd would help China overcome the oft-mentioned Malacca Dilemma.

    Besides the oil and gas pipelines, China and Bangladesh, along with Myanmar, have decided to build the 900 km Kunming Highway linking Chittagong with Kunming through Myanmar to facilitate greater trade [7]. This would not only overcome the long sea passage from the east coast of China through Singapore (for trans-shipment) to Bangladesh, but would also lower transport costs and add to the economy of Yunnan province. This also fits well in their joint initiative of improving Chittagong port infrastructure that can now be put to dual use for merchant vessels and also for the navies of the two countries.

    Challenging India

    The Chinese approach of systematically nurturing and promoting diplomatic linkages with Bangladesh provides it with a number of strategic advantages against India. Likewise, there are also several related strategic fallouts for Bangladesh. As far as China is concerned, it will be in a position to link its electronic listening systems at Coco Island in Myanmar and the staging/listening systems in Bangladesh and monitor Indian naval and missile activity. Given the wide disparities in the India-Bangladesh naval order of battle, Bangladesh would be under pressure to open its facilities to the PLA Navy as a countervailing force against the Indian Navy. The prospect of Chinese ships and submarines operating in the North Andaman Sea would have serious repercussions for India's projection capabilities. This is sure to result in some aggressive counter-maneuvering by the Indian Navy, and the Indian naval response would be to execute a blockade and entanglement of Chinese naval assets in Chittagong.

    China’s quest to establish a regional power profile is based on sustained and dedicated engagements with India’s neighbors for access and basing. It has adeptly reinforced its alliances with these countries through political-military support and challenging India in its backyard. China-Bangladesh military cooperation has the potential to exacerbate regional tensions along the Himalayas and result in high-intensity competition. The Chinese are quite clear that they have a peer competitor and a rival who they must contend with to enhance their influence in South Asia.

    Notes

    1. Sreeradha Datta, “Bangladesh’s Relations with China and India: A Comparative Study”, Strategic Analysis, Volume 32, No.5, September 2008, p.761.
    2. The Military Balance 2007, International Institute of Strategic Studies, London.
    3. R. Chakrabarti, “China and Bangladesh”, China Report, Volume 30, No. 2, 1994, p.155.
    4. Jane’s Fighting Ships 2008-09, pp.46-55.
    5. All the World’s Aircraft 2008-09, pp.94-95.
    6. Sudhir T. Devare, (ed), A New Energy Frontier: The Bay of Bengal, (Singapore: ISEAS,2008).
    7. Sharif M. Hossain and Ishtiaque Selim, “Sino – Bangladesh Economic Relations: Prospects and Challenges”, BIISS Journal, Volume 27, No 4, October 2006, pp.354-355.

    http://www.jamestown.org
     
  4. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    The newly installed "Pro-India" govt. too can not afford to let go off such a good friend.

    Dhaka eyes $4.68b from Beijing in 28 projects
    Assistance to be sought at JEC meeting in China

    [​IMG]

    Bangladesh will seek around US$4.68 billion in assistance from the Chinese government to implement 28 projects in telecommunication, infrastructure, energy, and health sectors at the Bangladesh-China Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting scheduled to begin in Beijing tomorrow.

    During the three-day bilateral talk that will take place after a four-year hiatus, Bangladesh is expected to discuss all projects, and reach an understanding on financial and technical assistance from the Chinese government. A $3.68 billion financial assistance will be sought as grant, soft loan, and supplier's credit.

    Since 1976, China provided Bangladesh with $321 million as grant, $227 million in soft loan, and $978 million as supplier's credit, official sources said.

    Since Dhaka finds the conditions for the supplier's credit unfavourable, it will request Beijing to relax those.

    Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan will lead a seven-member Bangladesh delegation while Vice-minister Chen Jian will lead a nine-member Chinese delegation to the 12th JEC meeting. The Bangladesh delegation will leave for Beijing today. The last JEC meeting was held in Dhaka in May 2005.

    Some of the major projects that Bangladesh will push for, are introduction of 3G telecom network and expansion of 2.5G network at an estimated cost of $211 million, constructions of the Second Padma Bridge at an estimated cost of $579.21 million, Pagla/Keraniganj Water Treatment Plant at a cost of $267 million, North Dhaka (East) Sewerage Treatment Plant and associated sewerage system at a cost of $121 million, and construction of the Second Meghna Bridge on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at an estimated cost of $125.36 million.

    Dhaka will formally request Beijing to provide $1.4 billion to implement the Ganges Barrage Project, and $88.12 million for restoration of the flow of Buriganga river and for a project for prevention of river pollution, says the list of projects to be discussed at the talk.

    Earlier, Bangladesh requested China to provide $560 million for implementing the North-West Fertiliser Company Limited project. China however proposed a mixed credit scheme for the project, to which Bangladesh responded by urging China in June this year to provide the assistance for Shahjalal Fertiliser Company in Fenchuganj instead.

    At the talk in Beijing, once again Bangladesh will request for a financial assistance of $600 million for the much awaited Rooppur Nuclear Power Project. In February 2007, ERD sought the assistance from China, but a response is yet to come.

    National ICT infrastructure network for the Bangladesh government phase-2 at an estimated cost of $130 million, construction of a single line metre gauge railway track from Dohazari to Cox's Bazar via Ramu, and from Ramu to Gundum at an estimated cost of $210 million, a railway bridge with provision of dual gauge double track over the Jamuna river at an estimated cost of $172 million, Karnaphuli tunnel at an estimated cost of $289 million, and construction of Barapukuria 125 megawatt coal fired thermal power station at a cost of 47.4 million are the other projects expected to be discussed.

    China already showed interest in construction of five simply equipped rural schools in Bangladesh, and in conducting a feasibility study for Kazirtak Bridge over the Arialkha river. ERD will seek financial assistance for those too.

    An inter-ministerial meeting was held on Wednesday at the finance ministry with Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit in the chair to prepare the delegation for the JEC talk.

    LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Health Minister AFM Ruhul Haque, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain, Post and Telecommunications Minister Raziuddin Razu, Power and Energy Adviser Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power and Energy Shamsul Haque Tuku, and State Minister for Science and ICT Yafes Osman attended the meeting.

    "Since China is an expert in the infrastructure sector, I hope all important projects will be accepted after discussions," Syed Abul Hossain told The Daily Star after the meeting.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  5. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    There are no friends mate...Just interests....
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    And thankfully our interest matched.Good for us,won't you say that?
     
  7. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    About the article,some parts are over hyped by the writer.Especially the Chicken' neck corridor and granting Chinese naval base in Chittagong.
     
  8. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Good for you mate. Chinese interest is in the Thorium in your beaches and containment of India along with berthing rights. And you want to get stronger against Myanmar and have a credible conventional deterrence against India.
     
  9. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    You are forgetting the economic relations.Chinese investment,that is so important for a country like ours.
     
  10. mig-29

    mig-29 Regular Member

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    Well its good for Bangladesh, a prosperous and developed Bangladesh is good for the regional stability and as a whole i think that Bangladesh has that capability , regarding Chinese developments projects it is entirely up to the government as to how they formulate their foreign policy and the level of co-operation between nations, Its a known fact that china wants to contain Indian influence in the region by giving impetus to developmental work in all the neighboring countries of India, and since china is providing soft loans it is natural that these projects would be handled by china only.
     
  11. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    But you are forgetting that China is courting you far more than you are courting them (evident in their $217 million economic assistance - bolstered infact by China over Bangladeshi concerns over 'trade imbalance', their offer to construct nuclear power stations and the like, trade delegation tours by China to B'desh, announcements like the "Bangladeshi-China Friendship Centre", and the fanfare surrounding state visits by Bangladeshi leaders to China). On a global perspective, Sino-Bangladeshi trade volumes total to a whooping $4.68 billion. That is minuscule by China's standards. They are pursuing you primarily for strategic reasons-make no mistake about it : evident in the setting up of the Chittagong missile launchpad with Chinese assistance for instance, and in the not so "exaggerated" prospects of a Chinese missile base in Chittagong; and as Satish mentioned for your thorium reserves. Your "economic relations" are merely secondary.
     
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Bangladesh-China trade deficit up $2.56b


    Trade gap between Bangladesh and China is widening alarmingly and it crossed more than two and a half billion dollars in the last financial year, according to the statistics available.

    'Bangladesh's trade deficit with China is rising alarmingly with Bangladesh importing goods worth US$ 2534 million from China against exporting only a meagre US$ 93 million to that country in fiscal 2006-07," said Salahuddin Abdullah, acting president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) while speaking at a business meeting with a business delegation from China yesterday.

    Low-cost Chinese products are making Bangladesh more dependent on the Asian economic giant, contributing to a widening trade gap of more than one and a half billion dollars between the two countries in just six months of the current fiscal year.

    Local business leaders observed that trade relations between Bangladesh and India are marked by huge imbalance in favour of China, and Bangladesh has also become unable to bridge this huge trade gap with its very short export list.

    Expressing deep concern over the increasing trade gap between Bangladesh and China, the business community leaders felt that the existing trade deficit was absolutely unsustainable.

    Bangladesh now imports raw cotton, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, knitted fabrics, man-made staple fibre and man-made filament, electric machinery and equipment, fertiliser, buses and covered vans, organic chemicals and special woven fabrics from China, according to the Bangladesh Bank. Even, lots of Chinese readymade garments are now available in local market.

    On the other hand, China imports raw jute, leather, frozen foods, jute and jute goods and chemicals from Bangladesh.

    The business leaders noted that import from China surged mainly due to its wide range of products and prices.

    Although China has been the dominating source of woven fabrics and raw cotton for long, all types of machinery and electronics imports from China have also gone up in the recent times.

    In terms of price, Chinese products are unbeatable no matter how their quality is. There are high-quality Chinese products, but they are hardly being imported, participants at the business meeting said.

    They observed that Chinese goods are cheaper compared to the same standard products of India. China offers goods with wide price range and importers cling to China because of its easy trade procedure and speedy shipment.

    According to DCCI leaders, China usually sends its products to Bangladesh within 25 days on an average by completing all the formalities while import from India takes 35 days.

    The business meeting was organised by the DCCI at its auditorium at Motijheel in the city which was attended by a 21-member business delegation from China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles (CCCT), Beijing China.

    Cao Xin Yu, vice-chairman and leader of the delegation from CCCT and Lin Weiquiang, Commercial Counsellor from the Embassy of China in Dhaka also spoke on the occasion.

    The DCCI acting president said Bangladesh has strong determination to reduce huge trade gap with China.

    He said Bangladesh has competitiveness in RMG sector. China-Bangladesh cooperation could work better if Chinese investment for establishing backward linkage industries in the field of textile and clothing could be attracted. Bangladesh has done excellent progress in the knit sector also, and Chinese cooperation can give further boost to these sectors. Jute based- textiles can also be planned to explore for future expansion.

    Bangladesh offers conducive investment climate compared to the other South Asian economies. Geographical location of the country is ideal for global trades with very convenient access to international sea and air routes. Bangladesh can be treated as the gateway to bridge between Asian and SAARC nations.

    As an LDC, Bangladesh enjoys preferential and duty-free quota free market access to various country's market including EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Korea etc. Chinese entrepreneurs with their vast entrepreneurial expertise and technology can help Bangladesh to meet their supply-side constraints.

    Because of the changes in perceptions and emerging new situation of global market policies larger German and UK buyer have shown their interest to purchase all types of textile and apparel products from Bangladesh. By establishing joint venture initiatives in Bangladesh, China can take indirect to diversify its new and old market, Salahuddin said.

    Leader of the Chinese business delegation Cao Xin Yu said Chinese investment in Bangladesh increased by 20 per cent in ready-made garment sector because the consumption of readymade dresses has increased in China. 'We are trying to find out opportunities to invest in Bangladesh," he said.

    He also requested the business community of Bangladesh to create a favourable business atmosphere in Bangladesh to attract more investment from China.

    A DCCI member made a proposal to the Chinese delegation to invest in mushroom production in Bangladesh.

    Terming the meeting fruitful Salahuddin said they would be able to encourage Chinese delegation to invest more in Bangladesh for reducing huge trade gap between the two countries in near future.


    http://news.tootoo.com/Industry_News/Latest_News/20080312/77016_2.html
     
  13. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    leon no one will help without returns so it is just for using bangladesh as base against india
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    which side would China be on in a Bangladesh-Burma war??
     
  15. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    this is the most selfish realationship on earth but bangladesh should be carefull as these chinese may claim their land saying southern tibet
     
  16. oliveryty

    oliveryty Guest

    india-US relations---potential for regional tension

    india and US cooperation in containing china

    ----

    china and bangladesh cooperate in infrastructure building up, while india and US cooperate for nuke
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Why would those two countries go to war?
     
  18. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    india and usa cooperate to generate energy for country's need with uranium and not for nuke:wink:,as india has huge energy demand so it is necessary to produce energy in huge quantity
     
  19. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    I think Bangladesh is making a mistake by adapting an anti India stance. The only country that can reallistically help them in case of a disaster is India and Bangladesh is unfortunately prone to more disasters than they deserve.

    China can only be interested in using them against India, else Bangladesh holds little promise for them.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China wants the gas that maybe on bangladesh's shore so they may promote Burma to take an aggressive stance to get it??
     

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