China seeks Bangladesh support against US-led military alliance in South Asia

Shahidul Islam Chowdhury | Published: 01:17, Apr 29,2021 | Updated: 15:44, Apr 29,2021


China on Tuesday emphasised the need for Bangladesh to take joint efforts against the formation of a military alliance led by the United States for maintaining ‘hegemony’ in South Asia.

Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe put the emphasis in a meeting with president Abdul Hamid in Dhaka on Tuesday.

‘To jointly maintain regional peace and stability, the two sides [Bangladesh and China] should make joint efforts against powers outside the region setting up military alliance in South Asia and practising hegemonism,’ General Wei said, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

When contacted about authenticity of the statement of the Chinese minister, a Bangladesh government official said that General Wei raised Chinese perspectives the matters involving Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) propagated by the US.

Wei also mentioned about relations of China with India and the US from various aspects.   

A group of four countries known as Quad – Australia, India, Japan and the US – has been propagating for the IPS for allegedly containing the influence of China through its Belt and Road Initiative in the region with a declared focus on advancing common vision of the four countries of a ‘free, open, inclusive, peaceful and secure’ Indo-Pacific region, according to diplomatic sources.

Dignitaries from Australia, Japan and the US often push for Bangladesh’s engagement in the IPS, while the Bangladesh government is unwilling to engage in rivalries among powerful countries at regional and international levels.

‘We do not want to engage in international rivalries,’ foreign minister AK Abdul Momen has said recently.

Bangladesh might be willing to engage in international and regional efforts with potentials to uphold for economic and business interests, he said.   

General Wei was in Dhaka on a brief visit for several hours as a part of his tri-nation tour in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

He also called on Bangladesh Army chief of staff General Abdul Aziz.

In the meetings, he expressed intent of China to continue strategic cooperation in the development of Bangladesh armed forces.

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