Bangladesh China friendship in context of Strategic partnership

Bangladesh China now all weather strategic partner. The process takes time and it’s not easy for both countries to forget their past and simply be friends. Cause in 1971 Liberation war China did not support Bangladesh instead China backed Pakistan. Strategic relations between Bangladesh China based on self interest. To write this article and to prove my logic I used  several authors Quotes like:

Nicholas Christ of and Sheryl Wu’s predictions that,  the shifting center of the world would eventually settle in Asia. Since then a view is burgeoning that America is in ‘elegant decline’ also used Fareed Zakaria powerfully argued that about rise of the rest. Though rest needs sharper definition but its clearly we can assume this so called rest is Asia. Re-emergence of Asia a dream for many Asian. It’s a sense of pride for them which they have longed for. Many blame that colonial domination is a cause for Asian poverty but other believes that responsibility lies on their shoulder. The western colonial domination more its effects than its cause.  China, with Bangladesh in South Asia. This article is nothing but an examination of a relationship largely through the prism of Bangladeshi lenses reflecting a Bangladeshi perception of Chinese behaviour and China’s relationship with Bangladesh. This article is ultimately expected to enhance a greater global understanding of the moods and behaviour-pattern of the Chinese dragon on a wider global matrix.

Chinese believes that, everything in the world has two seemingly opposing elements.  If we want to develop quality of our lives and the well-being of the world depend on bringing such opposing tendencies into balance with one another. Power, generally in the international arena, has both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ versions. Hence the building up of military capabilities in pursuit of ‘hard’ power, and the setting up of Confucian Institutes in pursuit of ‘soft’ power. A peaceful global, regional and domestic environment to sustain its reforms and meeting challenges posed by the modernisation policies. Chinese like to express themselves by metaphors and maxims. Xiaoping’s famous adage was “hide your capabilities and bide your time”. He was also strong on pragmatism when he said, “it does not matter whether the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice”. So, go to the market place. But there are no friends in the market place, only self-sustaining business interests, so nurture your allies the best you can. The current leader Mr Xi Jinping has launched a new mantra, the ‘China Dream’ or Zhunguo Meng in Mandarin. It comprises mainly three elements. One, a new kind of big-power relationship with the US, one of equality: it is not the ‘my way or the highway’ kind, but one that implies “you go your way and I will go mine, together or separately, but in peace’.

A win –win’ relationship with partners and interlocutors. India, or strategic allies like Pakistan, a country so key to his ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, which is also an essential part of China’s ‘west-ward march’ in quest of resources. This also involves a massive US$ 45 billion worth of infrastructural investment along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Consistency in Chinese Behaviour

There appears to be a consistency in the way China behaves with the outside world. Policy framework was initially laid down by Mao. He had analysed the globe as being divided into three worlds: The first comprising the then two Superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union. The second consisted of the countries of Europe, Canada and Japan. The rest including China belonged to the third world. He identified the ‘first world’ as ‘the source of all instability’.

China take some steps to become a strong superpower:

1.Chinese defence budget second highest in the world. Huge money investing on trade.

  1. China should feel proud for it’s navy cause China’s navy is the fastest growing arm of the military capable of rapidly deploying forces overseas.
  2. China has missiles with the capacity to hit any targets anywhere in the world, it is not necessary for China to station troops abroad.

China did not support Bangladesh in 1971 Liberation war because China fear “ Soviet social imperialism, and Indian expansionism”. But after independence  China accepted and recognised Bangladesh and it quickly made allies  with Bangladesh which China called all-weather friend’, almost the same as Pakistan and china  gaining an additional partner in South Asia.

Initial Position on Bangladesh:

The Bangladeshi leadership, led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, immediately seemed to intellectually understand China’s position, conditioned by its adverse relations with India and the Soviet Union. They adopted the tactic of refraining from giving umbrage to China by publicly criticising its actions. The softening of Beijing’s position began with the mutual recognition of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Deepening Relationship:

Gradually Bangladesh China relations became stronger than before. China supported Bangladesh in a many way as example :When Bangladesh and India were in a dispute over the construction of the Farakka barrage by India upstream on the Ganges river, Vice Premier Li Hsien-nien declared that ‘China firmly supports the government and people of Bangladesh in their just struggle to safeguard national independence state sovereignty and resist foreign interference. Bi lateral relations become stronger as the time proceed. In 2002, Major defence agreement signed  between Bangladesh and China and 2005 declared as Bangladesh china friendship year.

China helped Bangladesh in a many way : In the trade sector also in  infractural  sector. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman conference hall now in past it  known as Bangladesh China friendship conference hall.

Bangladesh China relations more complicated than before after 2007 Hasina  government proven themselves as a pro India. The Hasina and Awami league government signed many treaty with India including historic Land Boundary Agreement but despite all of that there is a good signed Chinese president xi jinping visited Bangladesh last year and in this visit 27 treaty had signed between Bangladesh and China.

Contemporary Partnership

The visit indeed great success for contemporary government 27 treaty signed between Bangladesh and China. The agreements were across a large span of economic activities, as well as governance-maritime cooperation, joint feasibility study of a free trade area, new Internet Communications Technology framework, counter-terrorism collaboration, information sharing, tackling climate change, rail links, power and energy. Also China clearly discuss with Bangladesh about   ‘One Road, One-Belt’ initiative. But the Chinese did not walk away with the Chittagong deep-sea project, obviously because it would bring discomfort India along with USA.

Defence

Defence is a area where bi lateral relations are burgeoning. In 2002, Bangladesh and China signed a defence treaty where china promised that it will help Bangladesh by provide Military equipment, give training Bangladeshi soldiers. Co operation is planned in the sector of UN peace keeping, anti piracy and disaster management.

Hardware and training are essential requirements for Bangladesh which China appears to be an appropriate source. There is also some issue for which we need china by our side: Bangladesh need mega loans for it’s mega project this need only satisfy by China. Xi jinpeng visit give psychological satisfaction that Bangladesh is important not only for India also for China.

Regional Ramification  :

Bangladesh could perhaps play a role in using its linkages with China and India for the benefit of all three countries. Both the Asian giants could actually profit from collaborating, in third countries such as Bangladesh or any other South Asian State, in bringing some of the megaprojects of the region to fruition. That would most certainly be in consonance with what has been described in Chinese as well as in the regional parlance as a ‘win-win situation’.

Goldman Sachs has predicted that by 2041, China would overtake the US as the world’s largest economy. China always claimed that it’s rise is peaceful. We hope that rise of China brings some advantage also for Bangladesh.

So we can draw conclusion as: China is important for Bangladesh as a strategic partner. So Bangladesh need more strategic steps need more diplomatic engagement and have to balance with China economically and strategically.

 

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