`China wants countries in South Asia to improve ti

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 22:34

Beijing: As India and Bangladesh resolved a
long-standing border problem during Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh`s Dhaka visit, China today said it would like to see
countries in South Asia improve their ties and build mutual
trust.

India and Bangladesh are important countries in South
Asia, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a
media briefing here, answering a question on Singh`s visit to
Bangladesh and the agreements reached between the two sides.

She said China would like to see countries in South Asia
improve their bilateral ties as well as build mutual trust and
make joint efforts to maintain peace, stability and
development in the region.

India and Bangladesh yesterday resolved a long-standing
border problem, signing a historic agreement on demarcation of
land boundary and exchange of 162 adversely-held enclaves, but
failed to sign any deal on sharing of Teesta and Feni rivers`
waters during Singh`s maiden visit to Dhaka.

Singh`s visit to Dhaka was being closely watched here as
China too had made strong efforts to woo Bangladesh with a
host of projects, including the offer to develop the strategic
Chittagong port which Dhaka wanted to turn into a commercial
hub.

China, which is constructing a network of oil pipelines
and roads through Myanmar, evinced an interest in extending it
to Chittagong to gain access to the platform in the Indian
Ocean for energy supplies.

Many Indian analysts described China`s attempts to
develop Chittagong port as well as those situated in Myanmar
and Sri Lanka as a long-term strategy to "encircle" India with
a "string of pearls," a claim denounced by their Chinese
counterparts as "Indian paranoia."

Singh`s visit to Bangladesh, especially the last-minute
postponement of signing of an accord on water-sharing of
Teesta and Feni rivers, was widely reported in the print and
TV media here.

"Water-sharing deal not expected to be signed" was the
headline in the state-run Global Times daily, while the
official CCTV carried an interview with Bangladesh Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina`s adviser, who expressed serious
reservations over the failure of the two sides to sign the
water accord.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 22:34

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