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Bangladesh to roll out red carpet for Chinese Prez Xi today

Bangladesh is set to roll out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping who will arrive here today on a two-day state visit which Dhaka said was “crucial” to open a new chapter in bilateral ties specially in the fields of economy and trade.

“The visit will open a new horizon in bilateral economic ties,” Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali said today.

The visit by a Chinese president after 30 years was “the reflection of world leaders’ confidence to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic leadership”, Ali said.

Ruling Awami League’s general secretary and local government minister Syed Ashraf described Bangladesh-China ties as historic and empathic as it was rooted in history.

“Our relation is as old as the history of ancient Chinese and Indian civilisations date back to and it is more empathic than political,” Ashraf said.

He sought restoration of an old Bangladesh and China road link, saying it would benefit the regional countries including India.

President Abdul Hamid would welcome Xi with “state honour” at the VVIP terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International airport. A special aircraft carrying Xi and his entourage members is set land in the morning.

They said a 21-gun salute would herald Xi’s arrival while two Bangladesh Air Force jets would escort the aircraft carrying him once it entered the country’s skyline.

The visit would be the first by any Chinese head of state to Bangladesh in three decades after president Li Xiannian’s visit in March 1986. 
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