Chinese ambassador changes his tone on Quad issue

Staff Correspondent,, Dhaka
Picture: Collected

Picture: Collected

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Amid numerous protests and criticisms Chinese Ambassador to Dhaka Li Jimming has changed his position on the issue of Bangladesh’s joining the alliance US led Quad formed by the United States, India, Australia and Japan.

He explained his remarks to Foreign Secretary Masood bin Momen at noon on Wednesday (May 12). After the handover ceremony of five lakh vaccines from China, the Chinese Ambassador sat in a meeting with Director General Khandaker Mohammad Talha and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs besides the Foreign Secretary at the State Guest House Meghna.

At the meeting, he called the issue a weakness of the English language and "out of context". He said he did not "mean" what he said about the Quad. I didn't want to say that.

A diplomatic source confirmed this.

Earlier on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Dhaka Li Jimming said at a virtual event that it would not be right for Bangladesh to join the Quad. Beijing considers the US-led coalition Quad to be a small anti-China group. So China thinks that Bangladesh's participation in this will in any way make the Dhaka-Beijing relations 'bad enough'.

Later, criticizing the statement, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Tuesday (May 11) that China had talked about the Quad. No decision has been made yet about the Quad. Besides, Bangladesh will decide as an independent, sovereign country.