We’ll determine our foreign policy: Momen

Diplomatic Correspondent

12 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Dhaka has responded to Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming’s remark on US-led four nations "Quad" and Bangladesh, saying that Bangladesh is an independent and sovereign state and determines its own foreign policy decision on the basis of principled position.

“Bangladesh maintained a non-aligned and balanced foreign policy and it will decide what to do following those principles,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said.

Momen made the remarks when he was asked about Li Jiming's remarks that Bangladesh’s relations with China will "substantially get damaged" if Bangladesh joins "Quad", a US-led defence initiative.

Momen explained Bangladesh’s position on the matter after handing over medicines and PPEs to Nepal to help the country combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chinese envoy May 10 said obviously it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four countries because it will substantially damage the bilateral relationship between the two countries. "Naturally, the Chinese ambassador represents his country. So he expressed their strategy. They can say what they want. Maybe they don't want it (Bangladesh joining Quad)," Momen said, adding that no one from the Quad has approached Bangladesh yet.

“The comments made by the Ambassador has been an advanced one,” added the Foreign Minister.

He said many people said many things in the past but Bangladesh is guided by its principled position. “We will decide what to do or what not to do considering the interest of the people and the country. We will continue to maintain a non-aligned and balanced foreign policy.”

"What he [Chinese ambassador] said it's fine. We have nothing to say about it," Momen added.

The US, India, Japan and Australia are part of an informal strategic alliance - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad as it is known.