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Bangladesh-China ties witnessed robust boosts.

Bangladesh-China ties witnessed robust boosts in almost all sectors during the last three decades. The
relationship has not only endured for the last 45 years, but reached a new height of privileged
partnership based on common interests, mutual cooperation and shared understanding. The increasing
boosts give them confidence to define their ties as ‘all-weather friendship’ and ‘trusted partnership.
In China-Bangladesh ties, China is seen as a trusted development partner of Bangladesh. During the last
three decades, China remains engaged in building some strategic and public infrastructures in
Bangladesh. Deepening economic ties marks an important feature of Sino-Bangladesh bilateral
cooperation. ’China and Bangladesh enjoy close economic ties and engage in a wide range of
cooperation including industries, agriculture and water resources development; flood forecasting,
earthquake warning, science and technology, space and application and other areas.

Sino-Bangladesh relationship is taking shape in a strategic environment, the complex geopolitical setup
of the region and strategic interests of the state actors are critical for forging strategic partnership in the
region. Seen from political viewpoint, China and Bangladesh are important global actors having
commonality of interests. On the world theatre, China promotes multi-polarity and opposes hegemony,
an identical position shared by Bangladesh. For Bangladesh, China is a key global partner. A Security
Council member and the 2 nd largest economy, China is Bangladesh’s strategic choice for forging deeper
ties. Bangladesh too appears important in Chinese calculus. An active UN member, Bangladesh is a top
troop contributing country to the UNPKO. Again, Bangladesh’s visibility in multilateral fora as in WTO as
leader of LDCs, climate negotiations under UNFCCC as a MVN member etc. make Bangladesh as an
attractive partner to China for playing joint roles in global politics. In addition, Bangladesh strongly
adheres to one-China policy and also remains committed to China over Taiwan debate and supports
China on Human rights issues. Seen from this diplomatic perspective, Sino-Bangladesh ties are perfect
combination for a strategic partnership. An analyst heralds the Sino-Bangladesh ties as an emerging
equation in Asian Diplomatic calculations.

Beyond the strategic diplomatic calculations, one major factor shaping Sino-Bangladesh relations has
been the compelling need for economic cooperation between them. As cited before, China is currently
Bangladesh’s biggest trade partner and second largest development partner. The quantum leap in the
bilateral trade suggests the immense untapped potential for economic cooperation between the two
countries. Some economists indicate that with Chinese economy evolving and its market moving
1 Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Senior Research Fellow at ISAS and former Bangladesh Foreign Adviser, available
at www.isas.nus.edu.sg

towards top end-products, China now feels urged to move out from the labor intensive areas and
relocate these in countries like Bangladesh. A Chinese official observes: ‘Many labor intensive industries
find it no longer profitable in China with the increase of labor cost. At present, Bangladesh which has
very rich human resources is their best choice’. 2 Thus, Bangladesh may provide opportunities to Chinese
investors while benefitting from its partnership. This is a win-win situation for both Chinese and
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to harness the best benefits from the evolving trends of globalization and
global market.

Shafiqur Rahman, Director of the ministry of foreign affairs, Bangladesh and Director of Better Bangladesh Foundation (BBF)

 

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