Bangladesh's socio-economic and cultural ties with China necessitate enhancement for its own benefit. The country will benefit from the fine relations built through this.
This remark was made by the speakers joined an international webinar titled ‘China’s Co-Operation with Bangladesh: Current Perspectives’ on Tuesday (June 8). It was sponsored by ‘Bangladesh Discourse Group’ and co-hosted by China Muslim World Cooperation Research (CMWCR) as well as the Muslim World Research Center (MWRC), a Malaysia-based organization.
They highlighted various aspects of Bangladesh's trade and diplomatic relations with China. In recent times, the role of China as a close friend of Bangladesh in the field of physical infrastructure came up.
Faruk Khan MP, Former Commerce Minister and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in the National Assembly, said in his opening speech, “The relationship between China and Bangladesh started in 1953, when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of the Nation visited China for the first time. He even wrote a book named ‘Amar dekha Noya Chin’ in which it’s written how we can learn from China in various aspects.”
“In addition, the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has visited China for more than three times. We have, currently, an excellent relation on the basis of mutual understanding, which will be more beneficiary in the days to come.”, he said.
Faruk Khan went on saying, “China is investing in the development and progress of Bangladesh. In particular, they are assisting Bangladesh with its technology and skilled professionals in the construction of infrastructural development such as Padma Bridge, Karnafuli Tunnel, various power plants and roads. Besides, they will be heavily involved in the Delta Plan lies in front of us.”
"Meanwhile, a team of Chinese experts and doctors is working in Bangladesh on the Kavid-19 epidemic. China has recently extended a helping hand with 5 lakh corona vaccines. ”, he continued.
Earlier, Dr Isharaf Hossain, Associate Professor and Head of CMWCR project as well as the President of MWRC gave the welcome speech at the webinar.
"The Muslim world's relationship with China is important as the catalyst for a new change in the current world order," he said. “It will open the door to new possibilities and allow Muslims to play a more positive, effective and dynamic role in the future world based on this relationship.”
Isharaf Hossain further said, “Bangladesh's position in the Muslim world is important regionally and locally. The role that China is playing in Bangladesh as the closest Muslim country, CMWCR is working on how to further strengthen regional interests, national interests and the interests of Muslims.”
Meanwhile, Former FBCCI Vice President Abul Kashem Haider said in the keynote address, "Bangladesh has a strong investment and strategic relationship with China, which started in 1997 with an electric field called 'Power China'. Over the next 20 years, more than 20 Chinese companies have operated in Bangladesh. Of these, Power China has been working on more than 14 projects, totaling 4.70 million US dollar.
"In addition, China's relationship with us has been strengthened in 2001 through the China Friendship Conference Center and the China Friendship Bridge as a gift from China. In the coming years, China proposes to work on 17 projects in our country with an investment of about 11.5 million US dollar. , he said.
He further mentioned, "Bangladesh needs a friendship with a technologically powerful country like China to become a developed country from the bottom up."
In his speech, Shiabur Rahman Shihab, Executive Editor of the daily Bangladesh Post said, "China has set a goal to become the world's number one economy before 2030. This vision greatly inspires Bangladesh to work with the largest economy. In addition, in the coming years, there will be no more competitors to compete with the Chinese manufacturing market. ”
"China especially values friendship. In the coming days, Bangladesh can be expected to side with China in any case,” he added.
Shanta Maria, a Journalist working in China, laying emphasis on the cultural ties Bangladesh has with China, said, "China has been in touch with Bengal since BC. Besides, various Chinese travelers like Faxian, have given us excellent descriptions of Bengali. In
the Middle Ages came other travelers, who even came to the court of independent sultans at the Sultani reign."
"Besides, China's contact with Bangladesh has increased since the introduction of silk. There are over two crore Muslims in China. There is a growing trend in Bangladesh to learn Chinese and migrate to China for employment,” she added.
At the end of the discussion, Shanta Maria said that some Chinese language books are waiting to be translated into Bengali while some of Bengali language books are to be translated into Chinese. She also called for the establishment of cultural centers in both the countries to further strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries.
The webinar was moderated by Dr M Zahidul Islam, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Meanwhile, Retired Air Vice-Marshal Mohammad Humayun Kabir, former judge and columnist Iqtedar Ahmed, China Awami League President Md Jhony, Professor Mohammad Abul Bashar, Poet and Professor Ashraf Hossain and others were present.