Chinese President opens ‘Belt and Road Forum’

DHAKA : Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday opened the much-hyped ‘Belt and Road Forum’ for international cooperation in Beijing participated by World leaders, including representatives from Bangladesh, reports UNB.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak are participating in the two-day Forum, a senior official told UNB adding that State Minister for Finance MA Mannan was also supposed to attend it.
Bangladesh and China can immensely benefit by joining hands in economic development and improving the living standards of common people with a win-win proposition, the official said highlighting the importance of Bangladesh’s participation in the Forum.
“Global growth requires new drivers; development needs to be more inclusive and balanced. The gap between the rich and poor needs to be narrowed,” Zunaid Palak who attended the opening session of the Forum wrote on his Facebook.
However, Bangladesh’s close neighbour India is apparently boycotting the Forum saying no country can accept a project that ‘ignores’ its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the (Belt and Road Initiative or One Belt, One Road) BRI/OBOR, the international community is well aware of India’s position,” said official spokesperson at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Gopal Baglay.
The spokesperson, according to the MEA, said guided by their principled position, they have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, ‘One Belt, One Road’ which was later renamed as ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. “We’re awaiting a positive response from the Chinese side.”
World leaders gathered in Beijing Sunday to attend the two-day Forum as China says the Belt and Road Initiative is a ‘project of the century’ that will benefit people across the world.
A total of 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders attended the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bangladesh has formally joined Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Road and Belt Initiative’, a drive which has already drawn the close attention of the world.
During the historic visit of Xi last year, Bangladesh and China signed a document of cooperation focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative.
Bangladesh said it is ‘appreciative’ of China’s initiative of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the ’21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ (the Belt and Road Initiative), believing it will bring important opportunities for Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and a Developed Country by 2041.
Bangladesh and China also agreed to enhance the alignment of development strategies of the two countries, fully tap the potential of cooperation in various areas and work on the Belt and Road Initiative so as to realise sustainable development and common prosperity of the two countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a systematic project, which will be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all, and efforts will be made to integrate the development strategies of the countries along the Belt and Road.