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Bangladesh is set to roll out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping who will arrive here tomorrow on a two-day state visit which Dhaka today 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. Earlier, an official said the visit would be a "milestone" as "both sides would make deals and bilateral relations would be improved". China sent its vice minister for publicity Tuo Zhan ahead of the presidential visit while he sought increased media campaign for enhanced regional connectivity coinciding with Xi's tour. "The media in our two countries are now very professional... We expect them to carry out an enhanced campaign for enhanced connectivity particularly for reestablishing the India- Bangladesh- Myanmar-China Corridor," Zhan told a media dialogue on Tuesday. Analysts said Dhaka sought to develop economic ties with China keeping its warm strategic and political relations with next door India, as its traditional ally and the dominant power in South Asia. Foreign ministry sources in Dhaka said Bangladesh and China would ink some 20 agreements involving billions of dollars in Chinese funding for large infrastructure projects which Bangladesh considered critical to its development.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)