With due patriotic fervor and festivity, the 51st Independence and National Day of Bangladesh was celebrated in Beijing, China on Saturday.
The Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing held the celebratory programme in a limited contour as per the guideline of the Government of China amid an unusual situation caused by Covid-19.
Due to the pandemic, the celebrations were divided into two segments. The first segment was held on Saturday, while a reception was held on the embassy premises on Monday.
The first segment commenced with the hoisting of the flag by Ambassador Mahbub-Uz-Zaman. It was followed by prayer for the martyrs of the Liberation War and the progress and prosperity of Bangladesh.
Messages from the President, the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh on the occasion were read-out.
Ambassador Mahbub-Uz-Zaman, in his speech at the reception, paid glowing tribute to the contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said that through his visionary leadership he led the freedom-loving people of Bangladesh to rise against dominance, exploitation, and oppression and wage the liberation struggle against the military rulers.
The Ambassador highlighted the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs of the War and the valiant freedom fighters.
The ambassador said Bangladesh is celebrating Mujib Borsho (the year of Mujib) commemorating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, the architect of the independence of Bangladesh.
“We celebrated the golden jubilee of our glorious independence and on both of these momentous occasions, Chinese Leadership especially President Xi Jinping congratulated Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveyed best wishes for the continued success and uninterrupted socio-economic progress and economic development of the country,” he noted.
Ambassador Mahbub said that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Bangabandhu, after attaining middle-income status in 2015, Bangladesh has made tremendous strides by fulfilling all the criteria of graduating from the list of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in March 2018.
The seasoned diplomat of Bangladesh maintained that in February 2021 the CDP of the United Nation recommended Bangladesh as a developing country which means that Bangladesh upgrades into a developing country status in 2026.
“We are happy to note that China has conveyed their deep contentment at the rapid socio-economic development in Bangladesh and have expressed their confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina it is on track to graduate from status,” he added.
The ambassador mentioned that China has also expressed its desire to be a part of Bangladesh in achieving developed country status by 2041 as envisaged by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“During the pandemic situation at times of our need, we could secure the timely government-to-government purchases of 77 million doses of vaccines from Sinopharm. Sinovac was also by our side by supplying the much-needed vaccines through the COVAX alliance,” he added.
“I must place on record the cooperation and assistance extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Beijing in this regard,” he further added.
The ambassador also recalled that the architect of independent Bangladesh visited China in 1952. He has written an account of his visit to China in his book "The new China, as in my eyes".
“Since the visit, bonding and linkages have been established between our two countries. It is my firm belief that the bonding of friendship and understanding that binds our two countries will be further consolidated in the coming years”, the ambassador noted.
At the ceremonial part of the reception, the National Anthem of Bangladesh was played, followed by the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China.
A dance performance staged by the children of diplomats, officials and staff of the embassy delighted the audience and put life into the programme moderated by Parul Dewan, the head of the Chancery of the embassy.
Ambassadors, defense attaches, and officials of different countries stationed in the Chinese capital, and members of the Bangladesh community joined the event.
- Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor at the China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China