Defence

China may have warned Bangladesh against joining Quad, but nobody has invited Dhaka yet

By The Print

China may be against Bangladesh joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, popularly known as the Quad, but none of the countries that are part of the grouping — India, the US, Japan and Australia — have invited Dhaka to join it so far, ThePrint has learnt.

While New Delhi has always been keen to embrace Dhaka under the Indo-Pacific strategic construct, it has until date not invited Bangladesh, not even informally, to join the Quad, multiple sources have told ThePrint.

Sources also said Dhaka has only shown interest so far in “being a part” of the Indo-Pacific initiative because of its location in the Bay of Bengal but even then it is interested only in the economic and connectivity aspect of it.

They added that while India, Japan, US and Australia consider Dhaka to be a “key player” in the Indo-Pacific region, they are aware of the fact that the Sheikh Hasina government is “not open to the idea” of joining the Quad.

The Quad, a strategic and security grouping under the Indo-Pacific framework aimed at restraining China’s rise, held its first summit-level meeting on 12 March. The Quad countries have themselves made it clear many times that they are not keen on expanding the grouping yet.

According to Rajiv Bhatia, former diplomat and now a distinguished fellow at the foreign policy think-tank Gateway House, China is just testing the waters.

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