Since independence, Bangladesh’s foreign policy has been friendship towards all and malice towards none. Bangladesh, as a supporter of a multilateral system, has always joined various global initiatives. Bangladesh’s interests and priorities are different from others. It has always prioritised matters of socioeconomic development. That is why Bangladesh has never joined any military or defence coalition. So the Chinese ambassador’s remarks involving Bangladesh in the Quad contest seem to be out of place. It is as if China is taking measures in advance.
No one can tell a sovereign country like Bangladesh what it can do or can’t so. Bangladesh will proceed according to its interests. It is for Bangladesh to decide. No one can force their decision on Bangladesh. And Bangladesh has never taken up a stance that goes against China or any other country. Quite to the contrary, Bangladesh has always maintained a balance. After all, Bangladesh needs both China and the US for the sake of development, peace and stability in the region. And they require Bangladesh’s cooperation too due to its important geographical position.
* Amena Mohsin is an analyst of international affairs an professor of the department of international affairs at Dhaka University.
*This analysis appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir