Dhaka: 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.
The provocative remarks by China’s Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming were described by Bangladesh’s foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen as “very unfortunate” and “aggressive”.
“We are an independent and sovereign State. We decide our foreign policy,” he told reporters here, a day after Li made the remarks.
“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 organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh.
Momen called the ambassador’s comment “very unfortunate” and “aggressive”, adding that he never heard such comments from any Chinese diplomat before.
“We didn’t expect such behavior from China,” he said.
Momen also called the ambassador’s comment “irrelevant” and an “advanced one”, adding that Bangladesh had been following a “non-aligned” and “balanced” foreign policy and the country would decide what to do in line with that principle.
A senior Bangladesh foreign ministry official, preferring anonymity, said Dhaka has so far has not expressed about the Quad while nobody either approached Bangladesh to join the platform and therefore the Chinese envoy’s comments appeared “irrelevant”.
He said that when Chinese defense minister Gen Wei Fenghe during his visit to Dhaka last month explained Beijing’s attitude towards the Quad when “we (Bangladesh side) listened to them but didn’t make any comment”.
Quad is a “small group of elites” working against China, Ambassador Li said. He described the Quad as a “narrow-purposed” geopolitical clique.