Dhaka, May 11
China has warned Bangladesh against joining the US-led Quad alliance, saying that Dhaka’s participation in the anti-Beijing “club” would result in “substantial damage” to bilateral relations.
We’re sovereign state
We are an independent and sovereign state. We decide our foreign policy. But yes, any country can uphold its position. —Dr AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Foreign Minister
The unusual warning from Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming came weeks after visiting Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe emphasied to Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid that Beijing and Dhaka should make joint efforts against powers from outside the region establishing a “military alliance” in South Asia and practising “hegemonism”.
“Obviously, it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four (Quad) because it will substantially damage our bilateral relationship,” Ambassador Li said at a virtual meeting organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh on Monday.
Reacting to the Chinese envoy’s controversial remarks, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Dhaka maintained a non-aligned and balanced foreign policy and it would decide what to do according to those principles.
“We’re an independent and sovereign state. We decide our foreign policy. But yes, any country can uphold its position,” he told the media on Tuesday. “Naturally, he (Chinese ambassador) represents a country. They can say what they want. Maybe they don’t want it (Bangladesh joining the Quad),” Momen said. — PTI
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