NEW DELHI: Bangladesh has curtly replied to China’s threat, warning it against joining the Quad saying that it was a sovereign nation and was free to take its own decision.
“Bangladesh maintains a non-aligned and balanced foreign policy and it will decide what to do according to those principles. We are an independent and sovereign state. We decide our foreign policy.
“But yes, any country can uphold its position. Naturally, he (Chinese ambassador) represents a country. They can say what they want. Maybe they don’t want it,” Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said and added that no one from the Quad has approached them yet.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Monday had warned Dhaka against joining the Quad saying Dhaka’s participation in the grouping would result in substantial damage to bilateral ties.
“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,” he said.
The Quad, comprising US, Australia, Japan and India, is often perceived to be formed to keep a check on China’s aggression and assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in the South China Sea.
However, the leaders of Quad have refuted these claims and said the grouping is to ensure the security and the economic progress of the region.
“Quad says it is only for economic purposes and security and so on. But that’s not true. We know that Quad is aimed at China,” Li said and termed the grouping as a narrow-purposed geopolitical clique.