‘Indo-US ties a model for Bangladesh and China’

February 24th, 2010 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Feb 24 (IANS) Bangladesh wants to engage in “a pro-active and balanced diplomacy” with China, akin to the relationship between India and the US, a senior ruling Awami League leader said as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina prepares for her Beijing visit.
Hasina is to embark on her fist visit to China March 17 since she began her second tenure in office last year.

“We believe the prime minister’s first visit to China during her second term in office will pave the way for new ground in our relationship with China,” said ruling Awami League (AL) presidium member Obaidul Quader.

Quader also believed that a proactive and balanced diplomacy, like that between Washington and New Delhi, could be established by the visit.

The AL anticipates that the visit will provide significant opportunities for diplomacy and China-Bangladesh relations, The Daily Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

Pakistan’s traditional ally, China had opposed Bangladesh’s 1971 freedom movement and recognised it only in 1976. Since then, there have been close economic and military ties.

Bangladesh will seek $3 billion in assistance from China during the five-day visit scheduled to begin March 17.

Infrastructure and power are high on Dhaka’s wish list of investments that it hopes would help bridge the current $3.8 billion trade gap in Beijing’s favour.

Regional connectivity is another point on Dhaka’s agenda with Beijing, including the seventh Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, constructing Chittagong-Myanmar-Kunming highway and a Bangladesh-China exhibition centre in Dhaka.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan, Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain, Industries Minister Dilip Barua, as well as other top officials and leaders will accompany Hasina on the visit.

The ground for the trip was laid last December when a high-powered delegation led by AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam visited China.

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