Awami League and alliance leaders step up ties with China

A nine-member team of the Awami League-led 14 Party alliance reaches Kunming, China on 13 May.Collected

On 21 March 2019 an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mutual cooperation was signed between the ruling Awami League and the Communist Party of China. A delegation of the Communist Party of China visited Bangladesh at the time at the invitation of Awami League. During that visit, in the presence of the prime minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, the MoU was signed by the minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s international relations division Song Tao and Awami League international relations secretary Shammi Ahmed. The memorandum was signed in Bangla, Chinese and English.

The memorandum stated that on the basis of non-interference in each other’s sovereignty, internal affairs and independence and based on equal rights and mutual respect, the two friendly parties would strengthen ‘China-Bangladesh strategic cooperation and partnership’ by increasing mutual exchange and cooperation. It also spoke of increasing communication and cooperation to step up discussions of mutual interest between the political leaders and workers at various levels within the two parties.

The main objective of this visit is an exchange of culture and sharing of experience between Awami League and the Communist Party of China
Tanvir Shakil Joy, Swechchhashebok League vice president and member of parliament

An Awami League central leader, on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo that in this region, Awami League has long-standing ties with the Indian Congress party. These relations are still sturdy. In recent times, relations with the ruling BJP have also increased. Awami League central leaders have visited India several times at their invitation. There are official government visits on a regular basis too. In recent times there has been an expansion of ties with the Communist Party of China.

Student and youth leaders’ visits

A 50-member delegation will be visiting China’s eastern province Zhejiang. The members of this delegation are basically students and youth leaders. In its invitation letters, the Chinese Communist Party basically spoke of training for students, youth and women. That is why most of the members of this delegation are central leaders of Awami League’s affiliated organisations Mahila Awami League, Jubo League, Swechchhashebok League, Chhatra League, Jubo League, Sramik League and Mahila Sramik League. The delegation will also include members of the web team responsible for creating Awami League data bank. They were Chhatra League leaders too. This delegation will be led by Swechchhashebok League vice president and member of parliament Tanvir Shakil Joy.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Tanvir Shakil Joy said that the main objective of this visit is an exchange of culture and sharing of experience between Awami League and the Communist Party of China. During the visit they will meet with the Communist Party’s local and central leaders as well as government officials.

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Awami League sources say that the team that will go next on 25 June, led by Kazi Zafarullah, will comprise central leaders. There will be around 10 members in this delegation too, said Awami League sources.

Last year central leaders of the ruling Awami League visited China twice, on 22 May and on 8 November, led by the party presidium member and now civil aviation minister Faruk Khan, at the invitation of the Communist Party of China. Faruk Khan earlier too had led an Awami League delegation to China.

A 20-member delegation led by the now deceased member of the Awami League presidium, Abdul Matin Khasru, visited China in 2019. Central leaders were part of this visit.

The Communist Party of China has presented Awami League with computers and other items for the party’s office purposes.

Visit of 14 Party allies

On Monday afternoon a 9-member high-level delegation comprising leaders of Jashod, Workers Party and Samyabadi Dal left for China. They will be visiting Kunming.

This delegation includes Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon, Samyabadi Dal’s general secretary Dilip Barua, Jashod general secretary Shireen Akhter, Jashod executive president Rabiul Alam, Jashod joint general secretary Mohammad Mohsin, Workers Party women’s leader Lutfunnesa Khan, Workers Party politburo member Mustafa Lutfullah, Samyabadi Dal leader Tripti Barua, H Moshaihid and others. The Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh saw them off at the Hazrat Shahjalal airport.

Leaders of the three allied parties of the 14 Party alliance will visit the Yunan Academy of Agriculture Science and KPC Pharmaceuticals in Kunming. During the trip they will hold meetings with local and central leaders of China’s Communist Party, said sources.

The sources said local government officials will also meet with the visiting delegation. The visiting leaders will also be provided with necessary medical treatment and routine health checkups during the visit.

Earlier in July past year, top leaders of the left leaning allies of the 14 Party paid a visit to China.

Awami League sources said that the 14 Party allies had long been requesting the alliance head and prime minister Sheikh Hasina for a meeting. The prime minister then even gave directives for a meeting to be arranged. However, the meeting is now likely to be postponed due to the China visit of the alliance party leaders.            

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