An internationally acclaimed researcher on Saturday said that Bangladesh should intelligently utilise the opportunities that would arise from the rise of China as the world’s largest economy.

In the question-answer session following the Quazi Nooruzzaman Memorial Lecture 2019 in the capital, Belal Ehsan Baaquie, a professor at Kuala Lumpur’s International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, also said that Bangladesh must avail the opportunities considering geopolitical aspects.

As China knows that the US and Japan stand by Bangladesh to invest here so it is creating better opportunities for the country, he noted while replying to a question from a reporter in the event at Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of Dhaka University.

Belal Ehsan delivered his lecture titled Modern China and Chinese Dynasties: Unification and Fragmentation on the occasion of the third memorial lecture organised by the Quazi Nooruzzaman Trust.

In his lecture he said that the history of China showed that the country repeatedly went through fragmentation followed by unification.

The single most important factor in the unity, stability and longevity of the country’s dynasties seems to be the system of determining the successors to China’s emperors, he observed.

He pointed out that there was a reasonable level of details that were preserved in China’s history, with all the caveats taken into account, for an analytical study.

China has an unbroken civilisation that goes back several millennia with its unification going back about 2,200 years, he said. 

About the rise and fall of Chinese dynasties, he explained that given the long periods of dynastic rules in china, one could look for regularities and patterns that occurred repeatedly, revealing the inner workings of the Chinese society and its social formation.

Regarding China’s phenomenal economic rise, Belal Ehsan said that in 1978 China’s gross domestic product was estimated to be about US$0.2 trillion, merely one-tenth of US GDP in that year.

‘But due to some10 per cent annual economic growth from 1980 to the present, China has now become the world’s second largest economy, or the largest depending on one GDP estimate,’ he said.

In 2015, he went on, China’s GDP stood at about US$11 trillion, compared to the US GDP of US$18 trillion as calculated in the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database.

The world’s largest exporter and largest nation, China commands an annual trade that exceeds US$4 trillion, the noted academic said, adding that its reserves were estimated to be US$3 trillion in February 2017, compared with US$11.6 billion held by the US in November 2016.

Moderated by Ganosamhati Andolan convener Zonayed Saki, the memorial lecture session was presided over by social scientist and researcher Sultan Hafeez Rahman.

Renowned personalities from different sections of society took part in the lecture.   

Born on March 24, 1925, Quazi Nooruzzaman joined the Navy in 1943 when he was still a student of St Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

He was court-martialed twice following rows with British officers but was acquitted on both occasions.

He joined the 1949 Kashmir War after returning from higher education at an artillery school in the UK.  

He retired voluntarily in 1969 after finding treatment by West Pakistan officers disrespectful.

He quit his retired life in 1971 to join Bangladesh’s War of Independence and became the commander of sector 7.

He was decorated with gallantry award Bir Uttam for his contribution to the independence war.

In independent Bangladesh, he joined democratic movements and was a bold critic of the military regimes.

He published a number of books on politics and the independence war.

Quazi Nooruzzaman passed away on May 6, 2011.

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