Any solution to the Rohingya crisis, which has undoubtedly affected Bangladesh very bad manner, will continue to remain elusive for many years, considering the hundreds of thousands of persecuted people from Rakhine already in Bangladesh, prior to the latest exodus in late August 2017.
People in Bangladesh and across the globe, believe there will be no solution, be it permanent or temporary, without help from China and Russia, two superpowers and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a most powerful body.
Beijing and Moscow, especially Beijing, have significant influence over Naypyitaw. As such, they are well positioned to pressure Myanmar to take the Rohingyas back and facilitate a permanent solution by addressing the root causes, including citizenship for the Rohingyas.
But it does not look like they are prepared to do so, at least for the time being, and perhaps anytime in the near future. Any help from India will also be handy as it has some influence with Myanmar.
So far, the efforts of Bangladesh to get China, Russia, and India on its side have not produced any significant outcomes worth mentioning.
As things stand, Bangladesh cannot get anything through the United Nations from China and Russia, two veto wielding nations at the UNSC, mainly due to the geopolitical and economical interests these countries have in regards to Myanmar.
In all the voting on Myanmar at the UN, China and Russia have always voted against any motions favoured by Bangladesh, while the country’s first neighbour India, has abstained, reflecting a grim scenario for Bangladesh. In short, Myanmar is more important for China and Russia than Bangladesh is.
The international community, including three other veto-wielding powers, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, are not interested at all in imposing any major economic sanctions or considering any military action against Myanmar, bypassing the UN system.
Against the backdrop of such a hopeless situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced she will visit China in July to talk to the leadership of the world’s most populous country about the crisis.
We the people trust the Prime Minister will try to make the Chinese leaders understand why Beijing should do more to put pressure on Naypyitaw to take the Rohingyas back as the Myanmar authorities are not willing to adhere to the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries in November 2017.
Hasina is likely to reiterate her proposal for a temporary solution by returning the Rohingyas to a safe zone in Rakhine before going for a permanent solution in accordance with the recommendations of the Annan Commission.
Experts believe that if China can be persuaded, it will not be a problem to get the support of Russia, and that if these two nations fall in line, any Indian opposition would be easily overcome.
The people of Bangladesh will now eagerly wait for the Prime Minister to visit China, hoping they will be able to get past one of the gravest circumstances the country has ever experienced.