Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the People's Republic of Bangladesh

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People's Republic of Bangladesh paid an official visit to China from 17 to 21 March, 2010. During the visit, President Hu Jintao and Chairman Wu Bangguo of the National People's Congress Standing Committee received the Bangladesh Prime Minister. Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held official talks. The leaders of the two countries had an in-depth exchange of views and reached agreement on newer directions for taking China-Bangladesh relations forward. They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest and indentified areas for collective initiatives to face contemporary global challenges.

1. The two sides reviewed the course of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations 35 years ago, and extolled active cooperation and partnership that has sustained between the two countries in the political, economic, social, and cultural fields. The two sides recalled that the relations between the peoples of the two countries date back many centuries. They also recalled that the successive leaders of the two countries made important contributions to the development of China-Bangladesh relations.

The two sides agreed that consolidation and enhancement of China-Bangladesh friendship and cooperation serve the fundamental interests of both countries, meet the common aspirations of the two peoples and are conducive to peace and development in the region and the world at large. The two sides decided to establish a "Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation" between China and Bangladesh from the strategic perspective and on the basis of the principles of longstanding friendship, equality, and mutual benefit.

The two sides noted that 4 October 2010 marks the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Bangladesh. They agreed to hold various commemorative activities in Beijing and Dhaka, and take this opportunity to promote and further develop the existing friendly relations between the two countries.

2. The two sides agreed to continue to exchange high-level visits and contacts between the two countries, intensify friendly exchanges between government agencies, parliaments, political parties, armed forces, and non-governmental groups of the two countries; promote communication and cooperation at the local government level, and enhance the cooperation mechanisms, including diplomatic consultations, the Joint Economic and Trade Committee and Joint Agriculture Committee.

3. Both sides reiterated their conviction that economic cooperation and trade constitute an important part of the comprehensive partnership between China and Bangladesh. In this regard, the two sides agreed to intensify cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure development on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

(a) The two sides will take active measures to expand bilateral trade and ease trade imbalance. The Chinese side will provide preferential tariff treatment to more Bangladeshi products and continue to boost the bilateral investment and trade activities. The Bangladesh side will encourage Bangladeshi enterprises to actively participate in the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and other commodity fairs in China to boost Bangladesh's exports to China.

(b) The Chinese side expressed its commitment to continue to offer assistance to Bangladesh to the best of its ability in support of the economic and social development of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh side expressed its heartfelt appreciation in this regard. The two sides signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Framework Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on a Concessional Loan Provided by China to Bangladesh, and the Exchange of Letters on the Construction of the 7th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge at Kajirtek. The two sides agreed to intensify efforts to resolve technical matters of such further projects as the construction of the Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre.

(c) The two sides encourage and support their own enterprises to carry out two-way investment and mutually beneficial cooperation, and provide facilitation for enterprises of both sides in project contracting and labor service cooperation. The Bangladesh side welcomes the active involvement of Chinese enterprises in the energy, communication, transportation, industry and infrastructure sectors in Bangladesh. The Chinese side would encourage and support capable and reputable Chinese enterprises to explore and carry out investment cooperation in the above-mentioned fields in Bangladesh, and to provide possible facilitation and financing support for the mutually agreed cooperation projects. During this visit, China National Petroleum Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector with Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

(d) The two sides agreed to enhance transport links and, in this connection, to continue to discuss the possibility of building road and rail links between the two countries.

(e) The two sides will, based on the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of Bangladesh signed in 2005, actively carry out cooperation in hybrid rice cultivation technology, agricultural machinery technology, exchange of germ plasm resources of crops, farm products processing and technical personnel training. The two sides will enhance exchanges between technical and managerial personnel of agriculture, and further explore the specific ways and means of expanding agricultural cooperation.

(f) The two sides agreed to carry out sustainable cooperation on hydrological data sharing and flood control of river Yarluzangbu/Brahmaputra, in view of its necessity to the disaster reduction in Bangladesh. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on water resources management, hydrological data sharing, flood control and disaster reduction, based on the exchange of letters between the Ministries of Water Resources of the two countries in 2005. At the request of the Bangladesh side, the Chinese side agreed to provide assistance for dredging of riverbeds and for capacity building through training of personnel.

(g) The Bangladesh side hopes that China could launch a communication satellite in orbit for Bangladesh in the near future. The Chinese side expressed interest to carry out cooperation with Bangladesh in this field.

4. In commemorating the 35th anniversary of our relations, the two sides agreed to further widen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation with a view to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two friendly countries.

(a) The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Bangladesh-China People's Friendship Association will jointly host the China-Bangladesh Friendship and Brightness (Ophthalmic) Trip, meaning, a team of Chinese medical experts will visit Bangladesh to offer free medical treatment to Bangladeshi cataract patients.

(b) The Chinese side will continue to provide government scholarships to Bangladesh and in the meanwhile welcome Bangladeshi students to China for study under other programs and through other channels. The Chinese side agreed to provide Chinese government scholarships annually for young Bangladeshi diplomats to study in China. At the request of the Bangladesh side, the Chinese side agreed to gradually increase the number of scholarships provided to Bangladeshi students depending upon circumstances. The two sides will strengthen exchanges and cooperation for capacity building in Chinese language and human resources.

(c) The two sides will actively expand exchanges and cooperation in culture, press, health, sports and tourism and promote contacts between the media organizations, think tanks, scholars, friendship groups, women's groups, cultural troupes, athletes and youths.

5. The two sides agreed to consider negotiating and signing a bilateral consular agreement and will conduct consultations in this regard through diplomatic channels.

The two sides also agreed to set up a bilateral consular consultation mechanism at an appropriate time to jointly discuss visa and other consular issues of mutual concern.

6. The two sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the militaries and law enforcement departments to safeguard respective national security and stability and promote peace and stability in the region.

7. The Chinese side reiterated that it respects Bangladesh's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and its support for the efforts of Bangladesh to uphold national stability and promote social development. The Bangladeshi side reiterated that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the Peoples' Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole China, and Taiwan and Tibet are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory. The Bangladesh side also reiterated its support for China's efforts in upholding sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

8. The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination in regional cooperation. The Chinese side expressed appreciation for the active efforts made by Bangladesh to promote South Asian regional cooperation. The Bangladesh side expressed support for Chinese efforts to enhance cooperation with the SAARC community. The two sides agreed to actively participate in and promote the BCIM regional economic cooperation process.

9. The two sides recognized the commonalities and shared perceptions of the two states in international and regional affairs, including the global financial crisis, climate change, energy and food security as well as issues relating to the aspirations and challenges of developing countries. The two sides agreed to maintain close coordination and cooperation to uphold the common interests of the two countries as well as that of the developing countries in general.

The two sides also agreed to hold consultations on climate change at an appropriate time within this year. China will support Bangladesh in enhancing its capability to tackle climate change challenges.

10. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep appreciation for the warm and friendly hospitality accorded to her during the visit, and extended a sincere invitation to Chinese leaders to pay official visits to Bangladesh at mutually convenient time. The Chinese leaders expressed their appreciation and accepted the invitation with pleasure.

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