Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz is quoted in a report in the South China Morning Post on the Bangladesh-China relationship, especially after Chinese Ambassador’s comment that if Bangladesh joins the Quad bilateral relationship will suffer “substantial damage.” The remark by China’s Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming was described by Bangladesh’s foreign minister Dr AK Abdul as “very unfortunate” and “aggressive.” The Bangladesh-China relationship has warmed up in recent years as China in trying to expand its sphere of influence in South Asia. However, Bangladesh is considered a close ally of India.
Riaz describes the comment as “a pre-emptive move to deter any future possibilities of Bangladesh joining the Quad,” adding that it was also a way to caution Bangladesh from drawing too close to the US. Riaz was also of the view that the Chinese ambassador had felt it was appropriate to make those comments, amid Dhaka’s reliance on Beijing for Covid-19 vaccines. Referring to the current balancing act of the Bangladesh government, Riaz said, “The [Sheikh Hasina] government will continue to walk the tightrope until it’s absolutely necessary to make a shift.”