A Chinese made VT-4 Main Battle Tank

Dhaka: China, being one of the largest defence suppliers of Bangladesh, is wary of Dhaka diversifying its defence supplies and acquiring quality defence items from India, Europe and the US.

China exports 19 per cent of its total arms to Bangladesh and the COVID-19 surge has hit Chinese defence supplies to Bangladesh, reported Bangladesh Live News.

Bangladesh Navy has reportedly complained to Chinese companies supplying spare parts for its corvettes, petrol crafts and inshore patrol vehicles about manufacturing defects and technical problems.

These naval ships were purchased under the China-Bangladesh Defence Contract signed in 2011, reported Bangladesh Live News.

M/s NORINCO, China, too apparently conveyed its inability to supply spare parts of main battle tanks that had been purchased from China in 2012 and 2013 ostensibly due to the COVID-19 situation.

In related developments, Bangladesh Navy too has reportedly highlighted to China Vanguard Industry Co Limited the increasing cost of defence items even as prices of defence items purchased from European and US Defence companies were reducing, Bangladesh Live News.

China was worried over these developments and was allaying Bangladeshi defence concerns about the increase in price and low-quality defence items, reported Bangladesh Live News.

Since Dhaka procured over 70 per cent of its arms from China in 2014-2018, Beijing was apprehensive about the Bangladesh Defence Forces' dissatisfaction with the quality of supplies and its defence pricing.

Beijing is also concerned over Dhaka's proposed purchase of defence-related items from India under the USD 500 million Line of Credit.

India had, in 2019, provided a similar amount of Line of Credit to Bangladesh for defence-related procurement to successfully implement the modernization Programme of Bangladesh Armed Forces "Forces Goal 2030", reported Bangladesh Live News.