Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, Thursday afternoon for an official visit at the invitation of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.
Wen received a red-carpet welcome and a 19-gun salute at the airport. He was greeted by Zia and other high-ranking government officials.
In a written statement, Wen said China and Bangladesh are neighbors basking in close friendship, and since the establishment of diplomatic ties 30 years ago, thanks to the concerted efforts of the two governments and peoples, the friendly relations and cooperation have kept growing.
"China-Bangladesh friendship accords with the common aspiration and fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples and contributes to maintaining regional peace, stability and development," Wen said.
The premier's Bangladesh tour is aimed at enhancing friendship and deepening cooperation. During his one-day visit, he is expected to have in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest with Prime Minister Zia and other Bangladeshi leaders.
This year marks 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Bangladesh relationship. "I believe this visit will further consolidate and strengthen the traditional friendship between our two countries and promote new progress in our bilateral relations," Wen said.
Bangladesh is the second leg of Wen's four-nation South Asia tour that has taken him to Pakistan. He will also visit Sri Lanka and India following his trip here.
(Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2005)