Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Monday (May 10, 2021) said Bangladesh should not join "Quad", a US-led initiative, and Dhaka’s relations with Beijing will "substantially get damaged" if it joins it.
He 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.
The US, India, Japan and Australia are part of an informal strategic alliance - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad as it is known.
"History has proved again and again such partnership surely damages our neighbours' own social, economic development and people's wellbeing," Ambassador Li said.
He said obviously it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to join this small club of four countries because it will substantially damage the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
“So, we don’t like to see any form of participation by Bangladesh in this small group of countries,” said the envoy.
The Chinese Ambassador was speaking at a programme with the members of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) held virtually.
DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the programme.
On April 27, Chinese State Councillor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe met President Abdul Hamid and the two sides agreed to advance bilateral military cooperation.
To jointly maintain regional peace and stability, the two sides should make joint efforts against powers outside the region, setting up military alliance in South Asia and practising hegemonism, Wei was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
Known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue,” representatives for the four-member nations met periodically since its establishment in 2007.
The Chinese Ambassador said no one can say that the situation in Myanmar is improving and mentioned that Bangladesh will have to wait to resume the tripartite talks on Rohingya repatriation among Bangladesh, China and Myanmar.
He said China could not contact the Myanmar government on the Rohingya repatriation issue as the situation in Myanmar is not normal now.
Myanmar did not take back a single Rohingya from Bangladesh over the past years.
Two repatriation attempts turned futile as Myanmar “failed to remove trust deficit” among the Rohingyas and there was a “lack of conducive environment” in Rakhine for their return.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017. On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
Bangladesh says the Rohingyas do not trust their government and Bangladesh gave a number of proposals to build trust among them. Myanmar did not say no to those proposals but no proposal was implemented.
Bangladesh is trying in multiple ways -- bilaterally, multilaterally, tri-laterally and through the judicial system – to find a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis.
Responding to another question, Ambassador Li said China will sincerely consider its engagement in the Teesta River management project if the country gets a feasibility study report on this project.
He added that the Bangladesh government should conduct a study on the project first before sending the proposal.