Chinese President Xi Jinping, now on a historic 22-hour state visit to Bangladesh, has said China considers Bangladesh as an important partner in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.
“We’re ready to work with the Bangladeshi side to further deepen our political mutual trust and elevate our relations and practical cooperation to a higher level,” China Daily quoted Xi as saying in Dhaka on Friday.
The visit takes place three decades after then Chinese President Li Xiannian visited Bangladesh in March 1986.
“I believe with the joint efforts of our two peoples, China-Bangladesh cooperation will bear even more golden fruits,” President Xi said in an article published in Bangladesh media.
He arrived here around 11:36 am after wrapping up his visit to Cambodia. He will then fly to Goa of India to attend the eighth BRICS Summit over the weekend.
“In the 41 years of our diplomatic relations, China-Bangladesh ties have kept moving forward,” Xi said in an arrival statement in Dhaka.
The Chinese President pointed out that China and Bangladesh face similar task of development.
He said the Chinese dream to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is ‘in perfect harmony’ with Bangladesh's dream of a ‘Sonar Bangla’.
"I look forward to having broad and in-depth exchange of views with President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and other Bangladeshi leaders on China-Bangladesh relations and issues of mutual interests to chart the course for our future cooperation and jointly usher in a new chapter in our bilateral relations," Xi added.
Quoting Jiang Jingkui, director of the Center of South Asian Studies at Peking University, China Daily report said the South Asian region, which was not a traditional focus for China, has become more important in recent years, especially after China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013.
“To some extent, the South Asian region is also one of China's backyards,” he said, adding that the northern part of South Asia is key for the (Silk Road Economic) Belt, while the southern part is important for the (21st Century Maritime Silk) Road.
Bangladesh has been positive in implementing the China-India-Myanmar-Bangladesh economic corridor, and Xi's visit will bring more practical cooperative results for the two countries, he said, according to a news agency.