China hails Bangladeshis connectivity bid
Chinese Ambassador in Bangladesh Zhang Xianyi has said that China is very much positive about a direct road link between Bangladesh and Kunming via Myanmar and also development of deep sea port at Sonadia of Cox’s Bazar.
The Chinese envoy was talking at ‘Meet the Press’ on Monday at the conference room of Jatiya Press Club. The function was arranged by the Press Club marking its 57th founding anniversary.
Presided over by Press Club president Kamaluddin Sabuj, the function was addressed among others by Press Club general secretary Syed Abdal Ahmed and Zhahirul Islam, convenor, seminar sub-committee.
Zhang Xianyi also said that China is working on the development of a highway connecting Kunming to Myanmar and Bangladesh and Myanmar should cooperate with each other to develop the road link between Myanmar and Bangladesh. China would extend all possible supports if needed in this regard.
He also said that China is very much interested to develop the deep sea port and the construction of the Padma Bridge. He said that a Chinese firm is in Bangladesh to examine the feasibility of the deep sea port.
Zhang Xianyi also spoke on regional connectivity, which would cover China,Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and said that China is ready to cooperate with development of any infrastructure facilitating the regional connectivity. He said that the regional connectivity would make Bangladesh a regional business hub, which would strengthen Bangladesh economy.
The Chinese ambassador also supported Bangladesh-India friendly relations and said that the cooperation between Bangladesh and India would contribute to establish peace and stability in this region.
In reply to a question Zhang Xianyi disputed a press report regarding the development of dam by China at the upper region of the Brahmmaputra and said that China would not do anything, which would deprive the lower riparian countries from using the water resources. He also said that the upper riparian country or counties should consult the lower riparian countries before construction of any dam or embankment at the upper region.
In reply to another question regarding an Indian company’s decision to go ahead with the exploration activities in the South China Sea in collaboration with Vietnam, the ambassador said such activities would infringe the China’s sovereignty and would endanger peace and stability.
He, however, termed China-India relation friendly and added that it would contribute attain world peace and stability.
Regarding Bangladesh-China economic relation, Zhang Xianyi said that during first half of the current year trade volume between the two countries stood at US$4.1 billion of which Bangladesh export to China stood at only US$200 million. He admitted about the huge trade imbalance and said that China is trying to increase import from Bangladesh. To facilitate Bangladesh’s export China offered duty free access to 70 per cent exportable goods of Bangladesh, which would be increased to 95 per cent. He said that Bangladeshi garments were allowed to export to China.
To reduce the trade gap he emphasized more Chinese investment in Bangladesh and added that very soon representatives of 20 Hongkong-based companies would visit Bangladesh to explore the potential of investment in Bangladesh.
Former Press Club president Reazuddin Ahmed and a large number of journalists from both the print and electronic media were attended the function.