A weeklong art and photography exhibition kicked off on Monday, marking the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to boost bilateral ties between Bangladesh and China.Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen attended the inaugural session of the exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as the chief guest. The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bangladesh and the Association of Bangladesh-China Alumni (ABCA) are jointly organizing the exhibition while Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Confucius Institute of Dhaka University, Bangladesh-China Friendship Center, Confucius Institute of North South University, Confucius Classroom of SMUCT and Bangla Department of China Media Group (CMG) are the co-organizers of the program. JICA to help improve Bangladesh’s justice delivery system Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean of the Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Art attended the program as the special guest while former Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad presided over the function that was also spoken by Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General at Shilpakala Academy, Dr Yang Hui, Director at the Confucius Institute of Dhaka University and Professor Dr Shahabul Haque, general secretary of ABCA. The Chinese envoy said that the people-to-people connectivity between Bangladesh and China would be strengthened through the BRI project. "The seeds of friendship we planted together over the years have blossomed into what we see today and will yield even more fruitful results. The BRI project is helping Bangladesh to develop its road communication sector hugely, promoting overall development and industrialization," Yao said.
BNP on Saturday (November 11, 2023) said the Chinese Ambassador Yao Wen’s recent comment on Bangladesh's next elections does not reflect the hopes and aspirations of people. In a statement, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi called upon China to shed light on the expectations of the people of Bangladesh and the issues relating to people’s interests. “In fact, Ambassador Wen's comment that China wants to see the upcoming elections in Bangladesh as per the constitution does not reflect the will or aspirations of people,” he said. The BNP leader said a large section of the people in Bangladesh have not had a chance to vote in the past ten years. Read more: Our main goal is to hold fair and neutral vote: PM Hasina “So, the country’s vast population wants a free, fair, inclusive and credible election not under the authoritarian Sheikh Hasina regime, but under a polls-time neutral government,” he said. Rizvi said the Chinese ambassador's remarks come at a time when the entire nation in unison is demanding the installation of a polls-time impartial government by carrying out a peaceful movement in an effort to restore their voting rights and democratic values. Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen addressing a programme said his country wants Bangladesh's elections to be held as per the constitution, and the relevant parties resolve their differences and maintain political and social stability. Rizvi said Wen’s remark on the upcoming national election as per the constitution has attracted the attention of the BNP and the democracy-loving people of Bangladesh. Read more: Chinese Ambassador hopes for stability after next election, continued cooperation with Bangladesh “We welcome his concern about Bangladesh. At the same time, we would like to remind (him) that BNP, the party that introduced multi-party democracy and parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh, is always committed to the constitution, which is approved and accepted by people,” he said. The BNP leader also said it is regrettable that the ‘illegitimate’ Awami League government changed the constitution through controversial amendments in an attempt to retain power. He also said the well-accepted and widely praised caretaker government system, established on the basis of national consensus, was abolished by the ‘fascist’ Sheikh Hasina government with a nefarious political motive. US says it takes any violence leading up to election in Bangladesh ‘incredibly seriously’ Rizvi said two consecutive ‘farcical’ national elections in 2014 and 2018 clearly proved that no elections are possible under Sheikh Hasina. “Because, theElection Commission, and an identified section from administration, judiciary and law enforcement forces play the role of accomplices in state-sponsored criminalisation in the name of election.” Stating that Bangladesh and China have long established friendly relations based on trade, commerce, knowledge and other bilateral interests, he said BNP believes that diplomatic success lies in establishing relations between the people of the two countries. Rizvi urged China to give importance to the desires and interests of the people of Bangladesh. He said their party also expects the full support of the international community in the ongoing struggle of the people of Bangladesh for a free, fair and participatory election.“BNP also wants to restore the basic foundations of democracy, so that the rule of law, human rights, labour rights and freedom of expression are re-established in Bangladesh." Read more: People to foil AL's move to hold another lopsided election: Rizvi
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen today (November 09, 2023) reiterated his country's non-interference approach towards other countries' internal affairs, noting that the future of Bangladesh will be determined by the people of Bangladesh. He laid emphasis on maintaining political and social stability through joint efforts. “Our policy is very clear. We don’t intervene. It is our hope that there will be stability after the next election and that our cooperation will continue,” the Chinese ambassador said. He hoped that the election will be held based on “constitution and laws.” He was addressing an event titled “BRI@10: Ushering in Next Golden Decade” at a Dhaka hotel, organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB). A certain country claims to be friend of Bangladesh, but imposes visa curbs: Chinese Ambassador CEAB President Ke Changliang spoke as the special guest at the event. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and General Secretary Emrul Kayesh also spoke on the occasion. “We want stability. We hope, Chinese people and property will be protected. So far, we feel safe. Thanks for the efforts that have been taken,” said the ambassador. “This is the pre-election year in Bangladesh. Many friends from the media have come to ask me what is China’s observations on the current political situation in Bangladesh. I want to underscore that the upcoming election is an internal affair of Bangladesh,” said Ambassador Yao. As a matter of foreign policy, he said, China adheres to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, and opposes any force interfering in internal affairs of other countries. “The future of Bangladesh shall be determined by people of Bangladesh. China is full of confidence about the better future of Bangladesh as well as China-Bangladesh relations,” he said. Those who claim situation in Myanmar 'not conducive' for repatriation never visited Rakhine : Chinese Ambassador Yao “As a friend of Bangladesh and a country with large investments, enterprises and personnel in Bangladesh,” he said, “China sincerely hopes that all stakeholders in Bangladesh would take the fundamental interests of the people into full consideration, properly resolve their differences, and jointly maintain political and social stability.” In two years’ time, China and Bangladesh will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The envoy said China is willing to take this opportunity to work with Bangladeshi friends from all walks of life to stay committed to the themes of peace, stability and development, push bilateral relations to a new level, and usher in a new era of friendly cooperation. Israel has right to statehood, so does Palestine: Chinese Ambassador
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today (October 28, 2023) said other countries should also come up with baskets of money and affordable proposals, instead of intimidation and giving advice, if they want to beat China. "If you want to beat China, you should come with basket of money and affordable proposals like the Chinese. Only advice does not satisfy us," he said while talking to reporters. The foreign minister mentioned that he said this during both the recent US and Europe visits. Salman F. Rahman, US Under Secretary Uzra Zeya acknowledge the only means to change govt is through elections Earlier, he spoke at a seminar on “Navigating Challenges: Bangladesh’s Response to the Current Global Situation” at the Foreign Service Academy as the chief guest. Diplomats World, a diplomatic magazine, hosted the seminar. Describing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Europe visit as “very successful,” Momen said the European countries listened to Bangladesh and they are now coming up with funds. He said the European leaders highly appreciated Bangladesh’s leadership and development. "This is a great achievement for Bangladesh," he said. Momen said many countries want to sell their products while trying to put pressure in the name of human rights and democracy. He said Bangladesh does not want to purchase military equipment now as the priority is to ensure people's welfare. US does not take a side on internal political matters: Spokesperson The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions. Together, they aim to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen together with Prime Minister Hasina on Wednesday launched the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to expand and develop the relationship between the EU and Bangladesh at the Global Gateway Forum. USAID official highlights US support for Bangladesh’s economic development On this occasion, the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bangladesh signed agreements worth €400 million for renewable energy projects to contribute to a sustainable green transition of Bangladesh's power sector. It is also aimed at meeting the country's climate mitigation targets. Five additional cooperation actions, worth €70 million, supporting education, decent work, green construction, e-governance and the prevention of gender-based violence were also launched. President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The EU and Bangladesh have been reliable and trusted partners for 50 years. Now, we are taking this partnership even further, to reap the opportunities of the green transition under Global Gateway. The European Commission, the EIB and Bangladesh will join forces to support renewable energy and tackle climate change. This €400 million investment will make a difference for the people of Bangladesh and its economy.”
Bangladesh's dependence on India, China could increase if western pressure continues: Int'l Crisis Group
Bangladesh's dependence on India and China will increase if the United States and potentially other Western countries go for further pressure and sanctions, such as visa bans on top officials, the International Crisis Group has said. "It could also cause the government to increase its dependence on India and China, as the US (and potentially other Western countries) will probably respond with sanctions, such as visa bans on top officials," according to the October 2023-March 2024 edition of "On the Horizon" report of the Crisis Group. The International Crisis Group is an independent organisation working to prevent wars and shape policies aiming for a more peaceful world. BNP has declared October 28 for a movement to topple the government and the ruling party Awami League says BNP's downfall will start on that day. Read: Free, fair, peaceful elections incredibly important: Afreen Akhter So far, a peaceful atmosphere prevails in the country. A disputed election could trigger fierce anti-government protests, according to the International Crisis Group. Election-related activities, such as campaigning and voting, could become flashpoints for violent attacks; spillover could also increase from restive states in India’s northeast, it said. Read: Bangladeshis will decide how election will be held in the country: India What to watch for in the coming weeks and months as mentioned by the Crisis Group 1. A high-stakes and potentially violent election in January 2024. 2. The ruling Awami League is expected to ignore calls for it to step down and hand power to a caretaker government that would oversee the election. 3. Rival supporters could clash in street battles or attack party offices or candidates. 4. Islamist groups could become more active in opposing the government. 5. Facing the prospect of a disputed poll, the opposition will probably boycott the election and could become radicalised, adopting more violent tactics. 6. Lack of hope, insecurity and poverty threaten to create a vicious cycle in which desperate Rohingyas – particularly young men – could join criminal gangs and armed groups, further fuelling the violence. Read more: Masud-Afreen Meeting: Bangladesh, US want "free, fair, peaceful" elections
China has called on relevant countries to exercise restraint, to take an objective and just position, to work for de-escalation of conflict, and to avoid causing an even bigger blow to regional and international security. “China condemns all violence and attacks against civilians, and opposes all acts in violation of international law,” Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen said during his meeting with Yousef Ramadan, Ambassador of Palestine to Bangladesh, on Monday (October 16, 2023). Read: Death toll rises to 2,670 in Gaza: ministry The two sides exchanged in-depth views on Palestine. Ambassador Yao noted that regarding the latest round of the conflict, China believes that it is a top priority to make all-out efforts to stop the fighting as soon as possible, prevent it from spreading endlessly, and avoid further deterioration of the situation. In the meantime, he said, it is imperative to observe the international humanitarian law, make every effort to ensure the safety of civilians, open up a humanitarian rescue and assistance passage as quickly as possible, and prevent a severe humanitarian disaster. The UN should play its due role in resolving the question of Palestine, said the Chinese envoy. Read: What military support the U.S. is providing to Israel's military “The UN Security Council needs to shoulder important responsibilities for this, build international consensus as quickly as possible and take real measures to that end,” he said, adding that the protection of civilians in armed conflict is a red line under international humanitarian law. Ambassador Yao also said, the indiscriminate use of force is unacceptable, and neither Palestinian nor Israeli civilians should be targeted. “The safety of UN staff and humanitarian workers must be guaranteed.” China is communicating with the relevant parties, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka. The special envoy of the Chinese government on the Middle East issue will soon visit relevant countries in the region and make active efforts to facilitate a cessation of violence and de-escalate the situation. In the meantime, China calls for a more authoritative, influential and broad-based international peace conference to be held under the auspices of the UN to build international consensus for peace and work for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine at an early date. Ambassador Yao pointed out that regarding the question of Palestine, it is at the heart of the Middle East issue and a wound that keeps being torn open in today’s world. “The root cause of this question lies in the long delay in realizing the dream of an independent State of Palestine and the failure to redress the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people,” he said. “Israel has the right to statehood, so does Palestine. The Israelis have obtained the safeguards for survival, but who will care about the survival of the Palestinians? The Jewish nation is no longer homeless in the world, but when will the Palestinian nation return to its home? There is no shortage of injustices in the world, but the injustice to Palestine has dragged on for over half a century. The sufferings that plagued generations must not continue,” said the Chinese ambassador. Read: Israel's Netanyahu vows to 'destroy' Hamas, says Gaza offensive still in early stages The answer to the question is the two-state solution and an independent State of Palestine, he said. “This is how Palestine and Israel could coexist in peace and how the Arabs and Jews could live in harmony. Only when the two-state solution is fully implemented can the Middle East truly enjoy peace and Israel enjoy lasting security,” said Ambassador Yao. He said the right way to advance the two-state solution is to resume peace talks as soon as possible. “All mechanisms for peace must play a positive role.” Ambassador Yao stressed that on the question of Palestine, China will continue to stand on the side of peace, on the side of justice, on the side of international law, on the side of shared aspirations of the majority of countries in the world, and on the side of human conscience. Read more: Relocation of Gaza residents extremely dangerous: UN chief
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen on Wednesday (October 11, 2023) said a certain foreign country claiming to be friend of Bangladesh is imposing unilateral visa restrictions on Bangladeshi people. Without naming the country the ambassador said they keep talking about human rights, democracy and free and fair elections in Bangladesh. Read: China to provide large-scale anti-dengue aid in a few days: Ambassador Yao His comments came amid controversy centering the US decision to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals. Washington, however, said it will not release the names or numbers of people in Bangladesh subject to the visa restrictions. Ambassador Yao reiterated that China does not meddle with the internal affairs pf other countries. “China never intervenes in internal affairs of other countries. Instead, we want to help Bangladesh make greater economic success and improve the livelihood of local people,” he told reporters after attending a programme, noting that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Read: Momen attending COM meeting of IORA in Colombo “Who is the genuine friend of Bangladesh? The people have the say?” said the Chinese ambassador. The Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh handed over 700 sets of dengue kits to Enam Medical College and Hospital, which would meet the demand of tests for over 18,000 people. Ambassador Yao said that President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government are "deeply concerned" on the dengue epidemic in Bangladesh and announced that China will provide 25 million RMB (USD 3.5 million) anti-dengue aid to Bangladesh. This marks only a starting point, and there will be more anti-dengue aid in larger scale coming from China in a few days, said the ambassador. "With our joint effort in mitigating the current dengue surge, the bond of friendship between the two countries and peoples would be further enhanced," said the ambassador. As a time-tested friend and strategic partner of Bangladesh, the envoy said, China is committed to working with Dhaka in addressing public health challenges, which was manifested by their joint fight against the Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years. Read: Padma Bridge Rail Link a landmark project under China's BRI: Ambassador Yao State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Md. Enamur Rahman, and Chief Executive Officer of Enam Medical College and Hospital, Dr. Anawarul Quader Nazim, among others, were present.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen today (October 11, 2023) said that President Xi Jinping and and the Chinese government are "deeply concerned" on the dengue epidemic in Bangladesh and announced that China will provide 25 million RMB (USD 3.5 million) anti-dengue aid to Bangladesh. "Today, The Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh is handing over 700 sets of Dengue kits to Enam Medical College and Hospital, which would meet the demand of tests for over 18,000 people," he said at the hospital in Savar. Also read: ‘China adheres to true multilateralism’: Ambassador Yao Wen This marks only a starting point, and there will be more anti-dengue aid in larger scale coming from China in a few days, said the ambassador. "With our joint effort in mitigating the current dengue surge, the bond of friendship between the two countries and peoples would be further enhanced," said Ambassador Yao. Also read: Future of Bangladesh should be determined by Bangladeshis: Ambassador Yao reiterates China’s non-intervention policy As a time-tested friend and strategic partner of Bangladesh, the envoy said, China is committed to working with Bangladesh in addressing public health challenges, which was manifested by their joint fight against the Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Md. Enamur Rahman, and Chief Executive Officer of Enam Medical College and Hospital, Dr. Anawarul Quader Nazim, among others, were present. Also read: No limit to potential of Bangladesh-China ties: Ambassador Yao Wen "This year by far, we have witnessed the severest dengue epidemic in Bangladesh’s history, causing grief to thousands of families while exerting unbearable pressure on the local hospital system," Ambassador Yao said. He expressed his deepest sympathy for those who died of the disease and his sincerest condolences to their family members. "I salute, with highest respect, the doctors and medical workers who have fought sleeplessly on the front for months. You have saved the lives of many. Your hard work is highly appreciated," he said. At this critical moment of combating dengue, China stands with Bangladesh like always, he said. Chinese President Xi Jinping met Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August. President Xi emphasized that both China and Bangladesh are at a critical stage of their own development and revitalization, and the Chinese side stands ready to strengthen the synergy of development strategies with Bangladesh, push bilateral strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, and better benefit the people of the two countries.
The wait of the people of southwestern districts will come to an end as the much-desired Dhaka-Bhanga railway connectivity via Padma Bridge will be opened on Tuesday (October 10, 2023). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the 82-kilometre railway track from Dhaka to Faridpur’s Bhanga upazila under “Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project”. She is likely to go to Faridpur by train and will address a rally at 2 pm at Kazi Abu Yusuf Stadium in Bhanga Upazila headquarters, according to project officials. Project Director Brigadier General Syed Ahmed said already the trial runs of a passenger train and a freight train have been completed on the route successfully. Project details On October 14 last year, the prime minister opened the construction work on a rail link between Dhaka and Jashore under the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project.’ Read: Test run: Train reaches Faridpur’s Bhanga from Dhaka via Padma Bridge The railway line is being constructed in three phases (plus a 3km link being built between Dhaka and Gandaria): 37km Gandaria-Mawa section, a 42km Mawa-Bhanga section, and an 87km Bhanga Junction-Jashore section. Some 43.2km of loops, siding and Y-connections bring the total track length to 215.2km. The entire railway project from Dhaka-Jashore is scheduled to be completed by June, 2024. There will be 20 stations from Dhaka to Jashore, of which 14 are new and 6 are already there. The previous stations are also being modernised. Once completed, trains will be able to run at a speed of 120 to 130 kilometres. Read: Dhaka-Bhanga railway track via Padma bridge all set for trial run on Thursday There will be no railway crossing anywhere on the Dhaka-Jashore railway line as underpasses are being constructed at each level crossing all the way from Dhaka to Jashore. The distance from Dhaka to Bhanga is about 82 kilometres. The new railway line from Gandaria in Dhaka has been added to the Padma Bridge via Keraniganj. Trains will be able to run from Kamalapur to Bhanga via Gandaria along the Dhaka-Narayanganj railway line. Under the project, 100 modern passenger coaches have already been purchased. New trains will be introduced by decorating the rakes with them. The Padma Bridge rail link project was approved on May 3, 2016. At that time, its construction cost was estimated to be around Tk 34,989 crore. When the project proposal was amended on May 22, 2018, the cost increased to Tk 39,247 crore. The cost may increase further, according to concerned authorities. The Padma Bridge rail link project is being constructed with Chinese funding, on the basis of G2G (government to government). Chinese contractor China Railway Engineering Group (CREC) is working on the project. China's Exim Bank is providing a loan of $ 266.79 crore to implement the project. Read: ICC World Cup Trophy travels to Padma Bridge The rest of the cost is being managed by the government of Bangladesh. What people think about the rail link UNB Faridpur correspondent reports: The long-cherished dream of southwestern region's people including Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur and Narail will come into reality through the opening of the rail connectivity. It will ensure safe journey of commuters from Dhaka to southwestern region at an affordable rate. Talking to UNB, Abul Foyez Shah Newaz, a freedom fighter, said “Once country's independence was a dream to us, the train movement over the Padma Bridge was also a dream for the people of this region and the dream has come into reality with the sincere efforts of the government.” Read: Padma bridge project cost increased further by Tk 1,117 cror
Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today (October 05, 2023) said that he was not wrong when he said “a lot is going on behind the scenes.” He said this while exchanging views with journalists at the conference room of the Road Transport and Highways Department, at the Secretariat. Also read: No worries over visa policy, PM reached understanding with all: Quader Regarding his earlier remark that there has been some “agreement or consensus”, Quader said, “The issue of rumours and propaganda in our country has become rampant. According to rumours, the relationship between Bangladesh and the United States has deteriorated. Such rumours and misinformation have spread widely. This is not desirable at this time.” “Don’t you understand what I said? No one was aware for a week about the meeting with the US security adviser. So, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and I wasn’t wrong,” Quader added. Also read: Hasina and Biden have discussed importance of free, fair elections in Bangladesh as well as improving relations During her recent visit to Washington DC, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her daughter took a selfie with Joe Biden. That was being discussed. There was still some talk. Reaching consensus behind the scenes means improving relations. That’s what I meant,” the AL leader clarified. When pointed out that many are taking the “behind the scenes” expression negatively, he said, “If anyone wants to take it negatively, it is up to them. At public rallies, people want excitement… which is why exciting words like “toley toley”, “khela hobe” are used.” Also read: Bangladesh not safe in BNP's hands: Quader Responding to a question on relationship with China, Quader said, “China has a role to play in our development activities. We can’t bypass that. We are taking their help.”