China invites Bangladesh PM Hasina for official visit to Beijing

PM Hasina officially visited China from July 1-6 in 2019

Bangladesh China relations Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina | Reuters

China has invited Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for an official visit to the country as Beijing is keen to work with the new government in Dhaka to cement bilateral cooperation in all fields.

"We (Dhaka) will find a suitable time for the visit," Foreign Minister Hassan Mahmud told reporters after he met with Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen on Sunday.

Wen met Mahmud after the Hasina-led Awami League was re-elected to power for the straight fourth term in the elections boycotted by the major opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on January 7.

Mahmud said discussions were underway to arrange it at a mutually convenient time for the premier's Beijing tour.

Prime Minister Hasina officially visited China from July 1-6, 2019. She also participated in the 13th Summer Davos Forum in Dalian. During the visit, Hasina called on Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"China reiterated its position to further strengthen the bilateral relations during the tenure of the new government in Bangladesh," the foreign ministry, meanwhile said in a statement after the envoy met with the minister.

Soon after the January 7 polls, Chinese President Xi congratulated Hasina and expressed confidence in boosting the bilateral ties.

Bangladesh foreign ministry officials said China wanted Hasina to visit China in September last year but the election and other engagements prevented her from visiting at that time.

China's invitation came shortly after the ruling party's general secretary and Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said India stood beside Bangladesh when BNP tried to foil the polls.

"There is no reason for our relations with India to be strained," Quader told reporters after Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pranay Kumar Verma called on him. Quader said he believed the wall of confusion and mistrust was finally smashed by Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi".

A senior foreign ministry official preferring anonymity said Dhaka would continue to strike a balance in the relationship both with India and China as we need them both for our stability and development.

According to analysts, Hasina deserved credit for skillfully negotiating the rival interests of India and China as Bangladesh is virtually sandwiched between the two feuding Asian giants. She also received the support of the big neighbours and Russia ahead of the elections.

India called the Bangladesh election an internal matter and Beijing spoke in the same tone while the Western powers, including the United States have called for credible polls.

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