On September 12, Bangladesh MP Col. Faruk Khan (Ret.) said that Chinese companies will assist in the construction of a submarine base in Cox’s Bazaar, designed to house two submarines purchased from China’s Wuchang Shipyard in 2016. Col. Khan, a member of the parliamentary committees on foreign policy and defense, said the facility, located on the Bay of Bengal in southeastern Bangladesh, would be financed by Bangladesh. He added that Bangladeshi authorities had not yet signed an agreement with China for the project, which is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. Col. Khan also said the Chinese role in the project did not represent a taking of sides between India and China, and that the People’s Liberation Army Navy would not have access to the base. Some analysts have said that the driving motivation is to keep pace with Myanmar, which has recently acquired Chinese submarines.
Col. Khan’s comments follow earlier reports in June 2019 that the base would be constructed with Chinese support and is expected to include barracks, an ammunition depot, and submarine repair facilities.