China's ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, said that Bangladesh offered its helping hand to China during the early days of the Covid outbreak. After the situation in China improved, China in turn offered their helping hand to Bangladesh.
During those challenging times, important strides were made in the relations between the two countries, he added.
Ambassador Li Jiming made these remarks at the Prothom Alo office on Sunday.
The outgoing ambassador came to visit the Prothom Alo office in the afternoon. He was received by the editor of Prothom Alo, Matiur Rahman. They held a meeting to exchange views.
After the meeting, Li Jiming spoke in an interview with Prothom Alo about bilateral relations, cooperation and more.
After his stint of more than three years in Bangladesh, Li Jiming will be leaving Dhaka in the second week of December.
I estimate that the trade volume between the two countries will exceed US$ 28 billion this year. That is a historic record high in Bangladesh-China bilateral trade
When asked about how relations had been during his term as ambassador, he said he had felt very honoured to be the ambassador of China to Bangladesh, shouldering the mission for the President of China, President Xi Jingping to uplift the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Bangladesh to a higher level.
Li Jiming further said there had been significant progress and bilateral relationship has been strengthened in many ways, especially during the pandemic.
He said Bangladesh was the first country to jump on board the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia and sign the MOU in this regard. Over the past three years, BRI has had a lot of achievements, he said, pointing to the examples of Payra power plant, the Karnaphuli Tunnel and the Dasherkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant.
China has been the number one trade partner for Bangladesh for 12 consecutive years, Ambassador Li Jiming said, adding that the most significant progress has been achieved during these three years.
"I estimate that the trade volume between the two countries will exceed US$ 28 billion this year. That is a historic record high in Bangladesh-China bilateral trade," he added.
As far as Bangladesh's media is concerned, Li Jiming said Prothom Alo is the most prominent one and his colleagues had always spoken highly about this paper, adding that this is not just a newspaper, but much more.
"The Bangladesh media is very dynamic and pro-active. The professionalism of the media is impressive," Li Jiming said.
However, he felt that Bangladesh's media relied on sources from the West rather than original ones. For example, he said, the media used western sources only when reporting on the Ukraine crisis or the issue of Uyghur's Muslims in China. But in general, Bangladesh's media is very friendly towards China, Li Jiming said.