Bangladesh Dismisses Chinese Claims of Cooperation on Padma Bridge
DHAKA, (IANS) – Bangladesh has refuted “misleading” Chinese media claims that the Padma Bridge is “a major cooperation project” between Dhaka and Beijing.
In a statement on June 18, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said: “Some quarters are trying to portray that the Padma Multipurpose Bridge which is scheduled to be inaugurated on June 25 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been constructed with the assistance of foreign funds and is a part of (China’s) Belt and Road Initiative”.
The statement categorically asserted that the bridge “has been entirely funded by the government of Bangladesh and no foreign funds from any other bilateral or multilateral funding agency has financially contributed to its construction”.
Chinese media reports had tried to project the 6.15 railroad bridge as a product of China-Bangladesh cooperation, hinting that it was part of BRI plans, while completely undermining the fact the project was conceived by Prime Minister Hasina long before BRI’s existence.
She laid the foundation stone of the bridge in 2001 towards the end of her first term in power and took it up with World Bank for funding when she returned to power in 2009.
Later when the World Bank raised issues unacceptable to Bangladesh, Hasina decided to build the country’s largest infrastructure project with own funds.