PM Sheikh Hasina renews pledge to further modernise armed forces

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National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today renewed her government’s firm commitment to further modernise and strengthen the armed forces with modern technology to safeguard country’s independence and sovereignty.

“We want to add modern technology to the armed forces to further enhance their capability … it’s necessary for not only war, also for overall development of the defence forces,” she said when visiting Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganobhaban residence here this morning.

After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

He said the Premier also put emphasis on further strengthening cooperation between Bangladesh and China in various fields including defence.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s stance of “One China Policy” and said problems between countries could be resolved through bilateral discussions.

Terming China as a very important development partner of Bangladesh, she said: “Beijing has been contributing a lot to further uplift of various sectors of Bangladesh.”

In this connection, she stressed the need for expanding cooperation in the agriculture sector saying that both Bangladesh and China would be benefited as huge number of population of the two countries depend on this sector.

“It could be a good sector for cooperation as both Bangladesh and China have huge population,” she said.

While talking about bilateral relations between Bangladesh and China, Sheikh Hasina said the ties are very excellent and hoped that it would be further deepened in the days to come.

Underscoring the need for strengthening regional connectivity, the Prime Minister mentioned the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor initiative and said such steps would open up a new door of cooperation and economic activities between the four nations.

The Prime Minister also conveyed her regards to the Chinese President and Prime Minister through the Chinese Defence Minister.

Highly appreciating Bangladesh’s stunning socioeconomic progress, the Chinese Defense Minister said that Bangladesh under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been enjoying political stability and the country’s economy is growing.

“Bangladesh has a bright future,” he said and hoped that the Bangladesh-China cooperation in different sectors would continue to be strengthened in the coming days.

General Chang Wanquan pointed out that during Bangladesh Prime Minister’s visit to China in 2014, both the countries came to a consensus to enhance the state-to-state and military-to-military relations.

Referring to his meetings with the chiefs of the three services in Bangladesh, the Chinese Minister told the Prime Minister, “We had fruitful meetings with them and exchanged views on how to further strengthen the defense cooperation.”

Expressing satisfaction regarding the talks over defense cooperation, he said that both sides felt that high-level exchanges should have to take place.

He also underscored the need for holding training for the mid and junior level army officers.

The Chinese Defense Minister said that since establishment of the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and China, economic, trade, cultural and military cooperation have been continuing and both the countries are contributing to regional peace and stability.

Appreciating Bangladesh’s support to ‘One China’ policy’, he said Bangladesh is an important country having a very good growth prospect.

Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Kazi Habibul Awal, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum, Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Mahfuzur Rahman and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ma Mingqiang were present, among others.
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news : BSS

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