Hasina meets Wen to deepen `comprehensive partnership`
Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 19:12
Beijing: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in a bid to boost bilateral cooperation as she underlined the need to deepen the "comprehensive partnership" with Beijing.

Hasina, who arrived here on a landmark 5-day visit yesterday, met the Chinese premier and exchanged views on enhancing the bilateral cooperation.

Qin Gang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing highly values Hasina?s visit. China hopes that her visit would contribute to the steady development of Sino-Bangladesh ties, he told media briefing here today.

China is expected to announce give USD 8.7-billion funding for Bangladesh's Chittagong port as well construction of highway linking Kunming, in south-western Yunnan province to Chittagong via Myanmar to give access to China to make use of the port.

Hasina is also scheduled to visit Kunming.

She will call on President Hu Jintao and Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress who is ranked second next to Hu, tomorrow.

Hasina has underlined the significance of her maiden visit to the country since becoming the prime minister after the landmark 2008 parliamentary elections.

She said Bangladeshis have watched with great admiration the phenomenal and sustained development achieved by the people of China over the last three decades.

"We, in Bangladesh, have watched with great admiration the phenomenal and sustained development achieved by the people of China over the last three decades. We felicitate the Chinese people and their leaders on their successes," she said in an article published in the official China Daily here today.

Hasina said: "China has been a major partner in our socio-economic development efforts. Cooperation between our two countries have widened in all areas including trade, investment, agriculture, science, technology, defence, education, culture and tourism".

She highlighted the "ample scope" for further deepening and expanding our "comprehensive partnership of cooperation".

"There is, however, ample scope for further deepening and expanding our "comprehensive partnership of cooperation" in these as well as other new areas," she wrote.

The Awami League leader said that during her current visit she would seek to work with the Chinese leaders to prepare the ground for lifting the "friendship and cooperation to new heights".

She underlined that China has emerged as the "most dependable and consistent friend of Bangladesh", ever since the two countries established their diplomatic relations 35 years ago.

Hasina recalled her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman?s visit to China in 1953 and 1957.

"I grew up hearing about China and her wonderful people from him. I have also had the privilege of visiting China several times. China and her people have always fascinated me. I am happy to be here once again,” she said.

China took time to recognise Bangladesh after it separated from Pakistan. Beijing even used for the first time its veto power in the UN Security Council in 1972 to block Dhaka’s admission to the world body.

Later China repaired its ties with Dhaka with large amount of assistance.

In her article, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Hasina’s "visit will go down as an important milestone in the history of the ever-flourishing friendship and cooperation between our two countries".

China remains a major partner in Bangladesh's socio-economic development endeavour, providing Bangladesh with technical and financial assistance for building bridges, roads, power plants, factories, convention centers etc?, she said.

"This is, in fact, the beginning of a new chapter of an even closer 'comprehensive partnership of cooperation'", Moni underlined.

She said Bangladesh has always supported Beijing on her core national interests and accordingly Dhaka considers Taiwan and Tibet as integral parts of China.


First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 19:12

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