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Hasina on 4-day bilateral visit to China

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China is just two weeks after her visit to the immediate neighbour – India….reports Asian Lite News

A fortnight after Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, the Bangladesh Prime Minister on Monday departed from Dhaka for Beijing on a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese premier Li Qiang, local media reported.

Hasina’s China visit, is believed to elevate the “strategic partnership” between Bangladesh and China to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership,” the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Xi Jinping had visited Bangladesh in October, 2016, during which the two countries upgraded their relationship to “Strategic Partnership” while Sheikh Hasina last visited Beijing in July 2019.

A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Hasina and her entourage departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:05am today, as per the Bangladesh newspaper The Daily Star.

During her China visit, Hasina will hold separate meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang and join a summit meeting on Trade, Business and Investment Opportunities between the two countries.

Dhaka and Beijing are likely to sign some 20 or so MoUs and announce inauguration of some development projects after a bilateral meeting between the two sides to be led by the two premiers, the Daily Star reported.

Bangladesh will seek China’s assistance in areas of investment and trade, financial assistance and repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud told reporters at a press briefing on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Hasina visited India on June 21-22 on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held bilateral discussions. The two countries signed 10 memorandums (MoUs) of understanding, including that of management and conservation of the Teesta River in Bangladesh.

Earlier addressing an event in Dhaka ahead of Hasina’s visit to China, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader described India as Bangladesh’s “political friend” and China as its “development partner.”

“China has contributed significantly to the development of many sectors in our country. Why will we not accept support from China for the sake of the country’s overall progress?” Quader said as cited by the Bangladesh newspaper The Daily Star. (ANI)

Bangladesh and China to sign 20 MoUs

Bangladesh and China are expected to sign 20 to 22 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s four-day visit to Beijing, said Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud.

“The MoUs will cover economic and banking cooperation, trade and investment, digital economy, infrastructure development, disaster management assistance, construction of the 6th and 9th Bangladesh-China friendship bridges, export of Bangladeshi agricultural products, and people-to-people connectivity,” he said at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.

During the visit, several joint projects will be inaugurated. Hasan stated that Dhaka will seek China’s support in areas such as trade and investment, financial assistance, and the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit comes at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang. The focus will be on Bangladesh’s development and economic cooperation between Dhaka and Beijing. Hasan emphasized that this visit will further strengthen the deep ties between the two nations.

In response to a question, he clarified that only MoUs, not formal agreements, will be signed. Reducing the trade gap with China will be a key priority for the Bangladeshi delegation, which will encourage Chinese importers to buy more Bangladeshi products, especially agricultural goods.

Regarding the Teesta river project, Hasan noted that Bangladesh has received a proposal from India on river management and will consider it first due to the shared nature of the river. China has also proposed a development project for the Teesta, which will be discussed if raised during the visit.

Possible Chinese cooperation in developing southern Bangladesh may also be on the agenda. However, the renewal of the MoU between the Bangladesh Awami League and the Communist Party of China (CPC) might take place later.

On July 9, the Prime Minister will meet with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun and attend the Shangri-La conference on trade and investment opportunities between Bangladesh and China. A business delegation from Bangladesh will also participate.

On July 10, she will meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People for bilateral talks, followed by MoU signings and project inaugurations. Later, she will hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The visit will conclude with a joint statement and a dinner hosted by the Bangladesh Embassy.

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