Beijing is offering to waive off 97% tariff on 5,161 items that Bangladesh trades with China.

NEW DELHI: Just when India-China ties suffered a new low following the recent clashes at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, Beijing seems to be aggressively wooing Bangladesh, a strong ally of India in the neighbourhood, with a host of sops.

The India-China stand-off at Ladakh has also coincided with Nepal redrawing its map to include some Indian territories, presumably under a nudge from China.

While India is working to retaliate to the border violence by China, which claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, through various measures mainly to hurt its economy, Beijing has reached out to Dhaka by offering to waive off 97% tariff on 5,161 items that Bangladesh trades with China.

Dhaka had asked for the waiver from China for being a "less developed country", and Beijing responded favourably on June 16, ironically a day after the Ladakh clash.

"Tariff Commission of the state council of ministry of finance of the People's Republic of China issued a notice dated on 16 June on granting zero treatment to 97% of tariff products of Bangladesh. This will come into effect from 1st July," Bangladesh foreign office said in a statement.

The new list adds to Dhaka's existing benefit of tariff-free trade on 3,095 products with Beijing under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement.

The development, which could lead to Bejing and Dhaka coming closer, can add to the discomfort of Delhi which sees Bangladesh as a strong ally - an equation built over many years that kept China at a distance. Indo-Bangla ties, though, had taken a setback last year over India's National Register Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act, both of which generated some unpleasantness in Dhaka.