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Bangabandhu was an old and good friend of China: Xi

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-03-17 20:55:51 BdST


Xi Jinping has hailed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as “an old and good friend” of the Chinese people.

The Chinese president made the remarks in a video message delivered at the celebrations of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh on Wednesday.     

He extended “cordial” greetings and “best” wishes to President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the others present at the event in Dhaka and the government and people of Bangladesh.

“A man who devoted his whole life to his country and people, he is fondly remembered by the people in Bangladesh to this day,” Xi said of Bangabandhu.

“The principle of “friendship to all and malice towards none” he laid out remains the bedrock of Bangladesh’s foreign policy,” he added.

Recalling Bangabandhu’s two visits to China in 1952 and 1957, when he forged friendships with Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and others of the elder generation, Xi said, “Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an old and good friend of the Chinese people.”

“We must always remember what the elder generation of leaders did for growth of China-Bangladesh relations, and shall pass on the baton of the China-Bangladesh friendship to future generations,” the Chinese president said.

He also hailed Hasina, saying that Bangladesh has focused on reform and development and entered a fast lane of growth under her leadership.

“As a friendly neighbour, China rejoices at a prosperous and progressing Bangladesh,” he said.

“China and Bangladesh have always been friendly neighbours, with the ancient Silk Road standing as a witness to a friendship that spans over the millennia. Since China and Bangladesh established diplomatic ties 46 years ago, our two sides have treated each other with mutual respect and as equals. The two countries have supported each other and made progress together.

“Today, both countries are at a crucial stage of revitalisation and development. The Chinese dream of great national renewal can well connect with the “Sonar Bangla” dream,” he said.

He said that during his visit to Bangladesh in 2016, Hasina and he upgraded the bilateral ties to a strategic partnership of cooperation.

Bangladesh is the first South Asian country to have signed with China an intergovernmental document on Belt and Road cooperation, he noted. “The practical cooperation has delivered real benefits to the people of both countries.”

Xi mentioned the steps taken by the two countries in cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also mentioned key projects undertaken by Chinese companies, including the Padma Bridge and the Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River.

“I place high importance on growing China’s relations with Bangladesh and will work with President Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina to strengthen the complementarity between two development strategies, advance Belt and Road cooperation, and take the strategic partnership of cooperation to a new height,” he said.