China warns Bangladesh on joining QUAD

Synopsis: In the wake of the growing momentum of Quad, China’s aggression is expected to grow in the Indo-Pacific and States are likely to push back Chinese “cheque-book diplomacy”.

Background:

  • Recently Chinese ambassador warned Bangladesh that there will be “substantial damage” to bilateral relation if it joins the USA backed anti-China coalition “Quad
  • However, Bangladesh categorically replied that Bangladesh is an independent sovereign nation and practices an independent foreign policy.
  • In this context, the USA said, it respects Bangladesh sovereignty and the right to make independent foreign policy.

Read Also :-Aims and Objectives of “Quad Summit

What is the significance of this episode?

  • Firstly, it reveals the fault lines in South Asia and in the Indo-Pacific. It shows that major powers are changing their moves to change the power balance in the Indian Ocean.
  • Secondly, it shows the growing relevance of the Indo-Pacific. “Quad” with all its weaknesses is becoming reality in the Indo-Pacific despite China’s attempt to suppress it.
  • Thirdly, it reveals that Quad’s success can be challenging for China strong-arm tactics (use of threats and force). Quad can become an alternative for the regional states.
  • Fourthly, it is clear China wants to send a clear message to regional states that they should remain away from joining Quad.
  • It further signifies that as the relevance of Quad will grow, Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific will grow.

What are the major limitations with Quad?

  • Firstly, Quad members are not able to figure out any cohesive agenda or any plan of expansions in the region.
  • Secondly, there is no credible platform to work with a like-minded nation such as China’s Belt and Road initiative.
  • Thirdly, no countries have shown any interest to join the coalition as China has called it “Asian NATO”.

India and other regional states will have to come up with more clear-cut foreign policy choices to counter China’s aggressive diplomacy.

Also read: Quadrilateral Security Dialogue

Source: The Hindu

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