Terming the Padma Multipurpose Bridge a symbol of courage, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming has credited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s wise leadership and determination in building the “dream bridge” despite enormous difficulties.
“It’s an outstanding achievement. This is going to be a big day (June 25) for Bangladesh, Today, nobody will ever doubt that Bangladesh can do it,” he said, adding that PM Hasina is a “true representative” of the people who share the glory of building the bridge.
Ambassador Li said the prime minister made a particular contribution to make that decision because it requires “extreme political courage and political responsibility” to take such a tough decision (to build the bridge with its own resources).
“I doubt any average leader of any country can make such a tough decision as she did, I doubt. I really doubt,” he said while sharing his thoughts with the media on the mega project on Sunday.
As the formal inauguration of the bridge by the premier draws closer, ambassador Li extended his and his country’s warmest congratulations to the people and government of Bangladesh for this achievement.
Highlighting the vision of PM Hasina and a solid reality with the physical existence of the bridge, the Chinese envoy said he feels particularly proud of and connected to the bridge, not only because it is built by a Chinese company but also because they see it is a “milestone” of Bangladesh-China cooperation.
He believes that after the bridge is open to traffic, it will benefit the people of Bangladesh, contribute to the connectivity of South Asia and it will serve as an everlasting bond of brotherhood between China and Bangladesh.
“Whenever I think of the bridge, three words come to my mind: courage, determination and prosperity,” he added.
The Padma Bridge is so far the longest bridge Chinese companies have ever built outside China. “So I think accepting the challenge was also a courageous step taken by the Chinese side,” said the envoy.
The ambassador recalled the days when the government of Bangladesh was conceiving the idea of the bridge and there were some complications regarding finance, technical viability and legitimacy of the plan.
“Some partners from abroad didn’t believe such a plan could ever materialize. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Sheikh steeled herself for all the doubts, pressures and allegations, and decided to build the bridge with Bangladesh’s own finances, which required tremendous courage and a strong sense of political responsibility,” he said, mentioning that China had full confidence in the people and the government of Bangladesh. “And we are correct.”