Bangladesh 'invites' debt trap
China has reportedly been engaging Bangladesh (BD) by offering new weapon platforms like J-10 Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA)& LY-80 Medium Range Air Defence Systems.
Two 6-member Chinese delegations have recently visited BD in quick succession for the same.
BD Chief of Air Staff (COAS) Air Chief Marshal Shaikh Abdul Hannanis scheduled to visit China in June 2023 for concluding the deal. China has not only supplied poor quality defence hardware like tanks WS-22 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), FM-90 AirDefence Missiles, fighter/trainer aircraft, submarines and other naval platforms to BD in the past, a large number of defects have also been reported in the recently acquired VT-5 Light Tanks and K-8WTrainer Aircraft.
Eventhepost sale services of Chinese companies have largely been deficient whichhas led to acrimony between Chinese companies and BD Armed Forces.
Such defects are not only a drain on the defence budget of BD due to the ever increasing cost of repairs/maintenance, but also severely affect operational availability of critical platforms due to increased downtime.
Similarly the JF-17 Aircraft in Pakistan have witnessed several engine, avionics and structural defects which have severely impacted its air worthiness. Defects have also being reported in the J-10 aircraft platforms.
A soft loan amounting to BDT 1 billion has also been offered by China to facilitate this deal. Such loans, however, come with a hidden agenda of trapping the receiving country in debt eventually leading to major concessions being extracted from them.
If the J-10 deal is concluded, it will be a double whammy for BD wherein it will be straddled with sub-standard standard platform coupled with a loan which will further accentuate its current economic situation.
Source: Bangladesh Live News