Dhaka, October 15 (NIA): The visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday agreed to upgrade Sino-Bangla bilateral ties to a “strategic partnership of cooperation.”
The two countries had entered into a Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation in 2010.
“It had yielded fruitful results, with bilateral cooperation advancing steadily in political, economic, cultural and security areas and on international and regional affairs,” Xi said accordingto Global Times (China).
China “highly values its friendly cooperative ties with Bangladesh” and will continue to offer support within its capacity for the economic and social development of the South Asian country, Xi said.
China stands ready to push forward bilateral practical cooperation by aligning the development strategies of the two countries, said the Chinese president.
Xi added that the proposed Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative” can dovetail with Bangladesh’s cooperation strategies with the outside world.
Since establishing diplomatic ties 41 years ago, China and Bangladesh have adhered to “the five principles of peaceful co-existence” and have each respected and supported the development path and domestic and foreign policies the other side has undertaken in accordance with its national conditions, said Xi.
Now in their pursuit of development, the two countries should be friends and partners that trust and support each other and advance practical cooperation to reap even richer fruits, so as to inject more impetus into bilateral ties, added the Chinese president.
Hasina, for her part, said that Bangladesh admires China’s economic achievement, and is ready to strengthen cooperation with China while pursuing its “Sonar Bangla” dream, said the prime minister.
Bangladesh, she added, is willing to actively work with China within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and support the building of an economic corridor linking Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, so as to push forward development in various fields such as electricity, energy, technology, agriculture, water resources, investment, transportation infrastructure and connectivity.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, comprises theSilk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
Bangladesh resolutely adheres to the one-China policy and is ready to maintain mutual understanding and support with the Chinese side on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, she said.
The two leaders pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, expand bilateral trade, and map out new major cooperation projects, especially in such key areas as infrastructure construction, production capacity, energy and power, transportation, information and telecommunication and agriculture.
The two countries also agreed to seek cooperation in new fields including maritime affairs, water resources, and science and technology.
Vowing to strengthen people-to-people exchanges so as to further boost the traditional China-Bangladesh friendship, they designated 2017 as the Year of China-Bangladesh Friendly Exchanges in a bid to expand cooperation in cultural and education areas, boost tourism and facilitate exchanges between their media organizations, youths, women’s organizations and local governments.
After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a string of cooperation documents covering such areas as the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative, production capacity cooperation, information and telecommunication, energy and power, diplomatic affairs, maritime affairs, disaster prevention and alleviation, and climate change.
The two sides also issued a joint statement about the upgrading of bilateral ties to the strategic partnership of cooperation.