Chinese ambassador warns Bangladesh against joining Quad: Foreign envoys should maintain decency and courtesy

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jieming warned Bangladesh not to consider joining the U.S.-Japan-India-Australia Quadripartite Dialogue (Quad) at an event on Monday, saying doing so would “damage” relations between the two countries. In response, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Tuesday that Bangladesh would respond to suggestions from any quarter in accordance with its foreign policy, and asked foreign envoys in Dhaka to “maintain decency and courtesy.

In response to Chinese Ambassador Li Jieming’s statement, Moorman told reporters on May 11 that “China is talking ahead of time about the U.S.-led Quadripartite Dialogue on the Four-Nation Security Alliance. At the moment (the government) has not made a decision on the quadripartite dialogue mechanism, and Bangladesh will make a decision on it as an independent and sovereign country.”

Earlier, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe had also urged Bangladesh not to join the U.S.-led Quadripartite Dialogue during his April 27 visit to the country. Chinese official media reportedly described the Quadripartite Dialogue as an “Asian version of NATO,” a label denied by its members, including India.

In an interview with the Bangladesh Foreign Correspondents’ Association on October 10, Li Jieming is reported to have said, “Obviously, it is not a good idea for Bangladesh to join this small club of four countries because it will greatly damage our bilateral relations.” For his part, through a statement issued by the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry in response to a press question, Moorman noted that “foreign envoys in Dhaka are urged to maintain decency and decorum when speaking in public.” Moorman said, “We are an independent and sovereign country. We determine our foreign policy. But, yes, any country can assert its position.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh announced Wednesday that it had received 5 million doses of the new crown vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group as a gift from China. The handover ceremony was attended by Bangladeshi officials, including Li Jieming and Moorman.