Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming has said China will show highest respect to the greatest Bengali of all times Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his birth centenary this year that coincides the celebration of 45th anniversary of Dhaka-Beijing diplomatic ties.
"The whole Bangladesh will celebrate the year as "Mujib Barsha", and the Chinese Embassy will also implement initiatives to celebrate this significant event with our Bangladeshi friends to show Chinese people's highest considerations and respect toward this great man," he said.
Li was addressing the opening ceremony of "Happy Chinese New Year Gala 2020, the 45th Anniversary of China-Bangladesh Friendship and Mujib Year" at the National Theatre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the city last evening.
The envoy said the Chinese side is ready to join hands with the Bangladesh government and people, taking the 45th anniversary as a great opportunity, to enhance the synergy between development strategies and jointly promote Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Over the past 45 years based-on the principles of mutual respect and benefit, he said the China-Bangladesh relationship has withstood the test of time and changes of international situation, and maintains the momentum of robust growth.
"China-Bangladesh relationship is now at its best time ever in history," he observed.
Last year, Li said Beijing remained Dhaka's largest trading partner while various bilateral cooperation projects have been launched with an increasing rise of direct Chinese investment in Bangladesh.
Besides, he said China-Bangladesh people-to-people and cultural exchanges underwent significant development in 2019 as over 37,000 Bangladesh tourists traveled to China and more than 5000 Bangladeshi students studied in China.
In 2020, the Ambassador said his country is looking forward embark on a new journey and take China-Bangladesh strategic cooperative partnership to the new heights through increasing mutual understanding, sharing of respective governance and building stronger China-Bangladesh community.
He recalled that the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited Dhaka twice in the 1950s and 1960s and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited China twice as well.
"Seed of friendship was thus planted by the veteran leaders of our two countries long before diplomatic ties were established. It has now grown into a giant tree with deep roots and rich fruits," Li said.
Last week, the Ambassador said Chinese people received the kind "Chinese New Year Message" from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina where the Bangladesh premier reviewed the time-honored China-Bangladesh friendship over the centuries and looked ahead into the future.
"She (Sheikh Hasina) also extended warm greetings to the Chinese people and government, and wished the people of China with a shared prosperity, peace, progress and happiness in the new year. We highly appreciate this," he said.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, who spoke at the function as the chief guest, highlighted various aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries.
He hoped the relationship will further be strengthened in the coming days. Xinjiang Art Theatre Director Li Yong and Bangladesh-China Friendship Centre M Delwar Hossain also spoke on the occasion.
Later, a group of artists from China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region presented a colorful traditional performance.
Chinese New Year, commonly referred to as "Guo Nian (means celebrating the New Year)" is the most ceremonious and joyfully celebrated festival in Chinese culture.
The Chinese Embassy in Dhaka has been holding "Happy Chinese New Year" programs in Bangladesh for the past consecutive 10 years, providing the opportunity to Bangladeshi people to experience Chinese culture in person.