Many things could be learnt from China: PM
Noting that there are many things that could be learnt from China, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh is advancing by maintaining good relations with all countries including neighbours.
“China has established itself as the second economic power in the world in the last 70 years … I’ll tell the Bangladeshi students who are studying in China that there are many things that they can learn from it and how the Chinese people work by giving labours day and night.”
The prime minister was addressing a civic reception accorded to her at Legendale Hotel here this evening. Expatriate Bangladeshis under the supervision of Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing hosted the reception.
The prime minister is now in China on a bilateral official visit to join the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting and hold meetings with top Chinese leaders.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Engineer Shamsul Haque, an expatriate Bangladeshi, also spoke at the function, moderated by Bangladesh Ambassador to China Fazlul Karim.
Sheikh Hasina said the government is not only making development endeavours inside the country, it is also taking the country forward internationally by following its foreign policy — “friendship to all, malice to none”.
The prime minister said many ask her in the international forum how Bangladesh keeps friendship with both India and China. “In reply, I tell them that there is no problem in maintaining good ties with the two countries,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh maintains good relations with all including its neighbors.
“We follow Bangabandhu’s principles in this regard word by word and that’s why we’ve no hostile relations with anybody,” she said.
The premier said investment is coming to Bangladesh as the country has good ties with all. “Investment comes if a stable and democratic government exists in the country,” she continued.
About the relations with China, the prime minister said many mega projects like Karnaphuli Tunnel are being implemented with Chinese assistance.
“It has been possible due to good relations with China,” she said.
Referring to the solutions to the land boundary dispute with India and maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar and India, the prime minister recalled that Bangabandhu had taken initiatives by enacting necessary laws to resolve the disputes with the neighbors.
“It is seen that war takes place across the world on exchanging of enclaves. But Indian people remained united about Bangladesh as the Indian parliament irrespective of parties and opinions unanimously passed the land boundary law” she said.
“We exchanged enclaves in a festive mood and it’s a unique example in the world … in this way we’re taking the country forward by solving every problem,” she said.
Spelling out Bangladesh’s tremendous development in the last one decade, the prime minister said any country witnesses development when only those who struggled for independence and sacrificed for the country and wants welfare of the people remains in power.
“You’ve seen its proof,” she said, mentioning the country’s horrible conditions from 1975-1996 and 2001-2008.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina posed a question that why the country could not advance at that time. “I don’t know whether you can find out its reason” she added.
“But a reason is very clear to me that nothing can be expected from those who didn’t want the country’s independence and those who still remain engrossed with love for Pakistan,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is not only maintaining tremendous GDP growth, the per capita income has also increased to US Dollar 1909 and “we’ll cross US Dollar 2000 soon.”
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been able to bring down poverty rate to 21 percent which was 51 percent in 1981 and 41 percent till 2006.
“Our target is now to cut the poverty rate to 16/17 percent … Bangladesh will be freed from poverty Inshallah,” she said.
The prime minister said extreme poverty rate has been reduced to 11 percent and “our goal is to slash the rate to seven percent.”
Sheikh Hasina said the nation will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020 and golden jubilee of independence in 2021.
“We want to build such a Bangladesh where there will be no hunger and poverty,” she said.
The prime minister said there are some people in the country who do not feel comfort in anything.
“Whatever work we did, they did not feel good about it … are they blind and not having intelligence and knowledge and what is their motive?,” she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said their main motive is that they do not like democracy as they are not evaluated if democratic atmosphere exists.
“They’re evaluated when the martial law and emergency are imposed and anybody usurps power by violating constitution,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is being acclaimed across the globe due to its stunning development.
“But we’ll have to retain the success and it will not be proper to sit (idle) by hearing the appreciation … we’ve to move forward further and do more work, give more labour,” she said.