DHAKA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- With great reverence, all the attendees at a recent ceremony commemorated the Bangladeshi and Chinese travelers who built the bridges of friendship between the peoples of the two countries hundreds of years earlier.
Almost all of the discussants concurred that the ancient travelers were instrumental in creating the strong bond of friendship and understanding between the countries that has lasted through to today.
They paid tribute to the ancient travelers, many of those names which have been mentioned by historians, by saying that they were on a mission to preach peace, teach knowledge and share culture between China and Bangladesh.
Speaking at the ceremony which was organized to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Dhaka, retired Lieutenant General Mahbubur Rahman, also the former chief of army staff of the Bangladesh Army, said "Chinese travelers Fa Xian, Xuan Zang and Yi Jing came to Bangladesh many years ago."
On the other hand, he said Atish Dipankar who was well known as a saint-philosopher by virtue of his unique character, erudition, scholarly attributes, and spiritual eminence, visited China's Tibet from Bangladesh on his journey onward to the mainland in those ancient days.
Rahman, who presided over the ceremony organized by the Bangladesh Cultural Academy on Saturday night in Dhaka, said, " October is a month of celebration for us. We have to reach the zenith in making our relations with China. There is no room complacency." "Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China this month (66 years ago) And we established our relationship with China this month 40 years ago," he said.
Rahman added "I lived in the great China in the 1970s and 1980s. I saw what miracle happening in China everyday. All credit goes to its respected leadership and their wisdom, solidarity of its people and the country's harmony."
"(Chinese) President Xi Jinping's the Belt and Road initiative further opportunities for us to revive the ancient Silk Road which was created through early travelers."
Speaking on the same occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ma Mingqiang also paid tribute to all Chinese and Bangladeshi travelers who since those ancient times contributed to the establishment China-Bangladesh relations which are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. "Our relationship has developing steadily and comprehensively," he said, adding "We're supporting each other."
He also said "It's time for us to think what we need to do to further bolster Bangladesh-China relations which stand on mutual respect for sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, non- interference and people-to-people understanding."
"We're working in the same direction. We are determined to cooperate," he said, adding "the Belt and Road and BCIM EC are the initiatives which can bring relations further closer."
Referring to Bangladesh's relationship with China since ancient times, Akbar Ali Khan, an economist and a former adviser to the Bangladeshi caretaker government, also stressed the need for further bolstering state-to-state ties.
He said there is also a need for more regional cooperation among countries in the region if they want a sustainable environment in this part of the world.
"Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar need to work closely towards a sustainable environment," he noted as one of the chief guests.
"We can learn from China to bring success in our efforts to get out of poverty," he said. "The Chinese people have significantly succeeded in uplifting GDP and social justice," he said.
"I congratulate China. We must appreciate China, its leaders and people for its current rise."
Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf, a former minister, said every Bangladesh villager knows China which has become a household name because Chinese pumps have reached all over the country for irrigation.
"We are proud of China's developments. China should become a major power for the global balance of power," he said.
Abdul Qaiyum, joint editor of Bangladesh's largest Bengali newspaper Prothom Alo, said China's economy has benefited the whole world and that the Chinese economy should be further strengthened for the increased benefit of the world.
"We want to follow China as a role model in establishing social justice," he went on to say.