In a testament to enduring diplomatic relations, Bangladesh has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during a highly successful exchange visit to China. Led by the distinguished Lt Col Farook Khan MP, a Presidium member of Awami League, the delegation's visit from November 8 to 12, 2023 aimed to deepen bilateral ties and delve into substantial discussions on pivotal regional issues.
In illuminating the positive impacts of the BRI, Lt Col Farook Khan MP emphasized the transformative connectivity achieved between the capital city and rural areas through robust road and bridge networks. The agricultural sector, in particular, has flourished with enhanced market access and fair pricing mechanisms. Lt Col Farook Khan MP dispelled concerns surrounding a purported "debt trap," noting that BRI constitutes only 6% of global credit in Bangladesh, with the majority of loans sourced from reputable institutions such as WDB, ADB, and IMF.
The discussions underscored the critical importance of elevating bilateral and multilateral cooperation to propel shared development agendas and effectively leverage regional resources.
Beyond the BRI-focused dialogues, the delegation engaged with Vice Minister Sun Hai Yan to acknowledge the enduring ties and friendship between Bangladesh and China.
Addressing the Rohingya issue, Sun expressed unwavering support for Bangladesh's efforts in facilitating the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine State, underscoring the significance of regional cooperation.
As Bangladesh approaches national elections, the Chinese Communist Party reiterated its steadfast policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of the nation. Expressing optimism for a participatory and peaceful electoral process, the delegation proposed visionary initiatives for river training, sustainable ecology, knowledge and technology exchange, and equitable trade and commerce between the two nations.
Sun Hai Yan commended the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the rapid development in Bangladesh, extending heartfelt congratulations on the appointment of Sayema Wazed Putul as the Director of WHO for Asia and acknowledging her unique qualities.
The visit synchronously aligned with the "Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - CPC in Dialogue with Political Parties of Southeast and South Asian Countries" in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The event witnessed the active participation of eighteen countries from South Asia and Southeast Asia, fostering productive discussions among over 200 delegates. This marked a notable stride toward enhanced regional cooperation and development, reaffirming the enduring collaboration between Bangladesh and China.