Prime Minister’s visit to China: Promising prospects and desired expectations

Mohammad Chayedul Islam

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going on a bilateral visit to China from July 8 to 11. The visit promises to forge new avenues of cooperation and unlock vast potential for mutual benefit for both countries. This visit is not just a diplomatic courtesy but the key to building a prosperous strategic future and fulfilling the deeply held expectations of the people of both Bangladesh and China.

The visit will invigorate bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields and promote new achievements in the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Bangladesh.

Since the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, China and Bangladesh have maintained significant diplomatic relations as neighboring countries. Currently, Bangladesh and China enjoy a well-formed relationship rooted deep in history. Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1975, continuous efforts by both countries have brought Bangladesh and China closer.

As a result, China is Bangladesh’s most loyal friend, with both countries sharing a progressive and prosperous economic relationship. Both countries are determined to enhance economic ties by giving greater importance than in the past to bilateral trade, investment, joint ventures, rail and road connectivity and cultural exchange. And at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Bangladesh-China relations have reached a new height, becoming more loyal friends of each other, and both countries are committed to ensuring a mutual partnership future.

China is Bangladesh’s largest trading partner and second largest source of foreign investment. Almost 49 years of diplomatic relations between the two states have resulted in countless trade and investments, supporting each other on key issues and helping to advance modernization, which has been remembered in history. China’s economic and trade cooperation with Bangladesh does not demand any political favors or special privileges.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has achieved more tangible results in infrastructure, digital economy, clean energy, agriculture, education, healthcare, culture and people-to-people exchanges. Significant results have been achieved in the last eight years since Bangladesh joined the Belt and Road Initiative. Bangladesh greatly appreciates the bilateral unity with China and has never shied away from planning similar steps for the future.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had close relations with China in his political life. He went to China in 1952 to attend an international conference. During this visit he met Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, respected figures of the Chinese Revolution. Bangabandhu was deeply impressed by China’s modernization and progress. After the independence of Bangladesh, under the leadership of Bangabandhu successfully faced numerous challenges, the process of establishing diplomatic relations with China began.

Following the legacy of her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills by leading Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in recent years. Under the active leadership of the Prime Minister, Bangladesh is moving towards development, prosperity and progress alongside China as a trusted friend in the future. Currently, the relationship between the two countries has reached an unprecedented level. And in recent years, China has become a significant development partner of Bangladesh.

The impact of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China from an economic point of view is profound. China-Bangladesh cooperation has great potential. As the world’s second largest economy and manufacturing power, China has advanced technology, rich experience and a huge market. Bangladesh is increasingly attracting China’s attention due to its readily available labor resources and favorable investment environment, among other opportunities. Trade relations between the two countries have continued to grow, with huge untapped potential.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit is expected to boost the growth of bilateral trade. Bangladesh can export more textiles, agricultural products and handicrafts to the huge market of China. At the same time, Chinese investment in Bangladesh’s manufacturing sector can bring advanced technology and management skills, which will improve local industries and help increase competitiveness in the global market.

Infrastructure construction has always been the focus of Bangladesh’s development and China’s cooperation is one of Bangladesh’s attractions. China’s success in infrastructure fields such as transportation, energy, and communications has attracted global attention, and it has strong technological prowess and project implementation capabilities. During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China, both sides are expected to reach new cooperation intentions on infrastructure projects.

This may include building new roads and railways, expanding ports and improving fuel supply capacity. Implementation of these projects will significantly improve the infrastructural conditions of Bangladesh and lay a solid foundation for economic development.

The visit also emphasized the importance of educational, scientific and technological cooperation. China has made significant progress in education, with continuous improvement in the quality of higher education and significant growth in scientific research and innovation capacity. Bangladesh is in urgent need of high quality educational resources and advanced technology.

The exchange of knowledge and ideas can be promoted, including the promotion of scholarship and joint research projects in the field of education. By strengthening educational exchanges, Bangladesh and China can increase the number of student exchanges and carry out scientific research cooperation projects. It will help develop professional talent in Bangladesh and provide support for scientific and technological innovation talent cooperation between the two countries.

Cultural exchange acts as a bridge for people-to-people exchanges. Both China and Bangladesh have a long history and rich cultural heritage. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China will provide new opportunities for cultural exchange. The two sides can organize more cultural activities such as art exhibitions, performances, cultural festivals, etc., so that the people of the two countries can better understand each other’s cultural attractions.

At the same time, tourism cooperation is also expected to be strengthened. Chinese tourists come to Bangladesh for its unique natural scenery and cultural landscape, and Bangladeshi tourists can also come to China to enjoy the deep Chinese culture.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China is full of hope and opportunity. We believe that through this visit, China and Bangladesh will achieve more fruitful results in cooperation in various fields, bring more benefits to the people of the two countries, jointly write a new chapter of friendly cooperation, look forward to a bright future and meet. Expectations of both parties’ interests for development and prosperity will be met.

The author is a doctoral candidate at the School of International Trade and Economics, Chiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China.