PM Hasina leaves for China on four-day official visit

PM Sheikh HasinaFile photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina left for China on a four-day bilateral visit today, Monday at the invitation of her Chinese counterpart.

The visit is believed to elevate the relations between Bangladesh and China to "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership" from "strategic partnership".

A special flight (BG1701) of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the prime minister and her entourage departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:05am.

The flight is scheduled to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport at 6:00 in the afternoon (Beijing time).

During her stay in Beijing from 8 to 11 July, the Bangladesh prime minister will have a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping alongside a delegation level bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Li Qiang on 10 July.

Bangladesh and China are likely to sign 20 to 22 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during the premier's four-day visit.

"The MoUs on cooperation in the economic and banking sector, trade and investment, digital economy, infrastructure development, assistance in disaster management, construction of 6th and 9th Bangladesh-China friendship bridges, export of agricultural products from Bangladesh and people to people connectivity are likely to be signed," foreign minister Hasan Mahmud said on Sunday at a curtain raiser press conference at the foreign ministry.

During the visit, Hasan said inauguration of a number of projects of the two countries will also be announced.

Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Bangladesh in October, 2016 when the relationship between the two countries had reached a strategic partnership.

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Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina last visited Beijing in July, 2019. She also visited China on multiple prior occasions. The two countries would celebrate the golden jubilee of the diplomatic relations next year.

On July 9, the second day of Sheikh Hasina's visit to China, president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun will pay a courtesy call on her at the meeting room, of her Place of Residence.

Afterwards, the prime minister will join a summit on Trade, Business and Investment Opportunities between Bangladesh and China at the China World Summit Wing, Shangri-La Circle, Beijing, China.

In the afternoon, a meeting is scheduled to be held between the Bangladesh premier and the Consultative Party president at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.

The prime minister will later place a wreath at the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square.

In the evening, she will attend a dinner hosted in her honour by ambassador of Bangladesh to China at Bangladesh House in Beijing.

On 10 July, a delegation level bilateral meeting led by Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina and premier of the State Council of China Li Qiang will be held at the Great Hall of the People where numerous documents including MoUs will be signed in the presence of them.

She will later attend a welcome banquet (lunch) in honour of her hosted by the premier of the State Council of China at the same venue.

In the afternoon on 10 July, the Bangladesh prime minister will pay a call on Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.

Concluding the visit to China, Sheikh Hasina will depart from Beijing Capital International Airport for home at 11:00am (Beijing time) on 11 July by a special flight (BG1704) of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

The flight is scheduled to land at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka at 2:00pm (BD time) the same day.