China’s Co-operation with Bangladesh: Present and Future

By June 30, 2021No Comments

The diplomatic relation between China and Bangladesh was established in January 1976. In 1976, a very good bondage was formed between the two countries initiated by China visit of the contemporary president, Ziaur Rahman. The relation was cherished over the past 45 years, while Bangladesh played an excellent role in developing the mutual cooperation and friendship. In the international arena, Bangladesh has, to the best of its capacity, maintained unwavering support for the “One China Policy” and China’s peaceful rise. Bangladesh is a proud member of “One China Policy” project and can play a significant role in the advancement of this epic project. China also has shown the highest respect to the greatest Bengali of all time.  The relation between the two countries has reached a unique height by the visit of our Honorable Prime Minister, Sheik Hasina to china.

On October 14, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Bangladesh on a historic visit. During that visit, China announced huge investments in various sectors of Bangladesh. The implementation of those investment projects is now in full swing. Among the ongoing projects are the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Karnafuli Tunnel, Dhaka-Chittagong Highway Four Lane Upgradation, Payra Port Development, Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project, Power Grid Network Strengthening Project, Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway, Dhaka-Sylhet Four Lane Highway etc. Mutual cooperation is not limited to the government level but is also at the private level. Cultural exchanges between the people of both countries underwent significant developments in 2019, as over 37,000 Bangladeshi tourists travelled to China and more than 5,000 Bangladeshi students are studying in China. It is undeniable that the unprecedented development of Bangladesh’s agriculture and garments sector is also due to the support of Chinese technology. Moreover, a total of 8,256 Bangladeshi products will now be exempted from tariff when exporting to China. China has established itself as Bangladesh’s most trusted ally in the defence sector as well. Recently, there have been reports of China’s cooperation in the overall development of the Teesta basin, which, if implemented, could radically change certain sectors, including agriculture and industry, in a large area of North Bengal.

Recently, an international webinar held titled ‘China’s Co-Operation with Bangladesh: Current Perspectives’ on Tuesday (June 8). They highlighted various aspects of Bangladesh’s trade and diplomatic relations with China. The member of parliament Faruk Khan (former Commerce Minister and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in the National Assembly) delivered a speech saying: “China is investing in the development and progress of Bangladesh. In particular, they are assisting Bangladesh with its technology and skilled professionals in the construction of infrastructural development such as Padma Bridge, Karnafuli Tunnel, various power plants and roads. Besides, they will be heavily involved in the Delta Plan lies in front of us.” “Meanwhile, a team of Chinese experts and doctors is working in Bangladesh on the Covid-19 epidemic. China has recently extended a helping hand with corona vaccines”, he continued.

Former FBCCI Vice President Abul Kashem Haider said in the keynote speech addressing: “Bangladesh has a strong investment and strategic relationship with China, which started in 1997 with an electric field named ‘Power China’. Over the next 20 years, more than 20 Chinese companies have been operating in Bangladesh. Among these, ‘Power China’ has been working on more than 14 projects, totaling 4.70 million US dollar.

“In addition, China’s relationship with us has been strengthened in 2001 through the China Friendship Conference Center and the China Friendship Bridge as a gift from China. In the upcoming years, China proposes to work on 17 projects in our country with an investment of about 11.5 million US dollar, he said. Furthermore, he mentioned, “Bangladesh needs a friendship with a technologically powerful country like China to become a developed country from the bottom up.”

In his speech, Shiabur Rahman Shihab, Executive Editor of the daily Bangladesh Post said, “China has set a goal to become the world’s number one economy before 2030. This vision greatly inspires Bangladesh to work with the largest economy. In addition, in the coming years, there will be no more competitors to compete with the Chinese manufacturing market.” “China especially values friendship. In the near future, Bangladesh is expected to be by the side with China in any case,” he added.

China is a County who also maintains a very good relation with Myanmar too, which is our neighboring country. Since last August 25, 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh. The Rohingya refugee crisis is the largest and fastest movements of our country amongst the recent histories. A ray of new hope begins in line with good relation with China hoping that the only country is china to whom we can expect an effective solution for repatriation of the refugees.


Dr. Md. Zahidul Islam

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Law, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Email:

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