Dhaka, news desk::
The Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, has regretted his remarks regarding the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and China. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told The Business Standard in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“Li Jiming delivered the comments in the face of ‘abrupt aggressive questions’ of media,” Dr Momen said.
On Monday, the Chinese Ambassador said Bangladesh’s relation with China will “substantially get damaged” if Bangladesh joins “Quad”, a United States-led initiative.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh don’t believe in any special relationship with any specific country. “Especially, Bangladesh wants a balanced relationship with India and China,” FM added.
The Bangladesh-China relationship is a historical one. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka, Dhaka-Beijing elevated the bilateral relationship to a “strategic partnership.” China is the largest trading partner of Bangladesh that makes this bilateral relationship equally economic and strategic.
On Monday, the Chinese Ambassador also termed “Quad” a military alliance aiming against China’s resurgence and its relationship with neighbouring countries.
The Ambassador said Quad was a “narrow-purposed” geopolitical clique, and Bangladesh should not join it as it will not derive any benefit from the initiative.
What is Quad?
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) or Quad is a strategic alliance among the United States, Japan, Australia and India. It was introduced in 2007, thanks to an initiative by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and grew as a focused group for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
However, the initiative which was meant to facilitate conversation and cooperation among the four maritime democracies lasted till early 2008.
Later, it fell dysfunctional after Australia’s Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd withdrew his country from the arrangement.
In 2017, the then US president, Donald Trump, took the step to revive the group, to outplay China on all fronts.
During the 2017 ASEAN Summits in Manila, all the member countries agreed to revive the quadrilateral alliance.
The USA under the leadership of Joe Biden emphasized making the group more effective.
On March 12 this year, the Quad held its first ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ virtually with the participation of the chiefs of all member nations.
After the function, the White House said in a statement that the leaders had agreed to continue close cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, including support for freedom of navigation, territorial integrity, and a stronger regional architecture through the Quad.
However, China has geopolitical issues with all the four-member nations of Quad. That’s why it views the group to be tailored against it.