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Indian retired Army Brigadier warns Bangladesh against China's 'debt trap' policy Bangladesh-China

Indian retired Army Brigadier warns Bangladesh against China's 'debt trap' policy

India Blooms News Service | @justearthnews | 22 Aug 2021, 12:47 am

A geo-politics expert and ex-Indian Army personnel has warned that the Bangladeshi leadership must be conscious of the country getting into a Chinese debt trap as Beijing is investing more in the country over the past several years.

"Debts, investments, equities and grants often bring in their wake the political sway of the benefactor on the beneficiary’s sovereignty," wrote Brigadier S K Chatterji (Retired) in his article published in Asia Times.

He mentioned in his article how a widely reported warning by the Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, on May 10 while addressing a virtual meeting of the Defense Correspondents Association of Bangladesh, got people fuming.

“Obviously it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four [Quad] because it will substantially damage our bilateral relationship,” Li was quoted as saying by the media.

"Chinese arrogance and its desire to convert Bangladesh into a satellite state resonated from his warning. Bangladeshis are fiercely independent, proud of their culture, language and diversity. They won their independence after traversing a bloody trail. Notwithstanding the loud response to Ambassador Li’s remarks, its resonance also echoed in many South and Southeast Asian capitals," Chatterji wrote.

He warned that India cannot afford a pro-China stance by Bangladesh.

"Indians would be loath to have Chinese ships in the Bay of Bengal, let alone a Chinese base there. However, it must either provide – or nudge other free nations and global institutions into providing – Bangladesh the funds that it requires to sustain its growth," he wrote.

"As far as Bangladesh is concerned, the rush for growth is understandable, but its own values, culture and sovereignty are surely equally important. Perhaps Bangladesh should, most of all, evaluate the option that provoked the Chinese ambassador, and consider joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue when it tries to widen its partnership with countries in the region," Chatterji wrote.